|Statement by Ambassador LIU Jieyi at the Security Council Debate on Peacebuilding in Africa|
China thanks you, Sir, for convening today’s open debate. Our thanks also go to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Foreign Minister Mohamed of Kenya and African Union (AU) Commissioner Chergui for their briefings.
Ten days ago, the United Nations celebrated Nelson Mandela International Day, commemorating the enormous contribution made by that great statesman to peace in Africa. Africa today is full of vigor. Joining hands towards self-improvement and the pursuit of peace and development is now the main theme heard throughout the continent. African peace and development are critical to the security, stability and common prosperity of the entire world. Peacebuilding — which spans the political, security and development realms — can offer important support to Africa’s efforts to achieve sustaining peace and sustainable development.
The world today is facing growing challenges from terrorism. Terrorist attacks occur frequently and in many locations, resulting in heavy casualties and damage. Africa is also suffering from terrorism. Some countries and regions continue to endure painful conflict and war. As traditional and non-traditional security threats are interlinked, effectively enhancing peacebuilding in Africa to tangibly help the continent achieve sustaining peace is a major challenge for the international community. In that regard, China would like to make the following points.
First, it is imperative to vigorously help Africa to respond to the challenge of terrorism. Africa’s counter-terrorism efforts are an important part of the global fight against terrorism. The international community should apply a uniform standard on counter-terrorism, support the counter-terrorism efforts in Africa and resolutely combat terrorist activities regardless of their pretexts, targets and means. The United Nations should concretely help African countries to enhance their counter-terrorism capacity-building, prioritize that endeavor and provide more substantive assistance to African countries.
Secondly, the international community should respect the independent choices of African countries. Africa belongs to the African people, and an African approach is the more effective and feasible way of resolving African problems. Peacebuilding in Africa should abide by the principles of national ownership and respect for the sovereignty and will of the countries concerned, while avoiding imposing outside will on them. The United Nations should align its priorities with those of African countries and be empathetic and concentrate on resolving the issues deemed most urgent by the countries concerned. When it comes to peacebuilding activities, United Nations special political missions should strictly abide by their respective mandates and division of responsibilities in order to avoid duplication of effort or trying to take on all things at the same time, so as to strike a comprehensive balance between efficiency and benefits.
Thirdly, regional organizations’ role needs to be enhanced. The African Union and the relevant subregional organizations have in-depth knowledge of the countries in the region and their peacebuilding needs. They have long mediated and dealt with complex conflicts and possess unique geographical, historical and cultural advantages. We also support African countries in proposing holistic peacebuilding strategies from a regional perspective. We support the AU’s peacebuilding initiatives, such as its Policy on Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development (PCRD) and the African solidarity initiative, as well as an active role for regional mechanisms.
Fourthly, with regard to helping Africa resolve development issues, peace is the fundamental guarantee for development. Many post-conflict African countries face multiple challenges in the areas of the economy, infrastructure, reconstruction, poverty elimination, employment, education, public health and social security. The international community should work hard to help the countries concerned achieve early economic recovery and, through industrialization, agriculture modernization and human resources development, help Africa’s peoples enjoy a peace dividend at an early date.
China is committed to its African policy and concept based on sincerity, practical results, affinity, good faith and upholds the value of friendship, justice and shared interests, and has steadfastly supported peace and development in Africa. China has participated in 16 United Nations peacekeeping operations in African. At the moment, there are more than 2,600 Chinese peacekeepers deployed in Africa. Over the past two months, three young Chinese keepers gave their precious lives for peace in Africa.
The Johannesburg Forum on China-Africa Cooperation proposed 10 cooperation plans, including in the areas of industrialization, agricultural modernization, infrastructure, financial services, green development, trade and investment facilitation, poverty reduction and public welfare, public health, people-to-people exchanges, and peace and security. China is moving forward to comprehensively implement those plans.
Over the next five years, China will provide AU with $100 million in gratis military assistance to support the setting up of the African Standby Force and the Crisis Rapid Response Force, including for the training of 2,000 peacekeepers from around the world, including from Africa. China stands ready to work with the rest of the international community to continue to make our contribution to the maintenance of peace and security in Africa and to promote its development.