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Statement by Ambassador LIU Jieyi at the Security Council Debate on Water, Peace and Security

2016/11/22

I would like to thank Foreign Minister Ndiaye for presiding over the Security Council's open debate on water, peace and security. My thanks also go to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for his briefing. China listened carefully to the briefings by Mr. Türk, Chair of the Global High-Level Panel on Water and Peace; Ms. Beerli, Vice-President of the International Committee of the Red Cross; and Mr. Waslekar, President of Strategic Foresight Group.

Water is indispensable to human survival and to sustainable economic and social development. In recent years, climate change and environmental degradation have led to frequent natural disasters. In some countries there is a severe shortage of drinking water. The problem of water scarcity is increasingly acute and prominent. That is not only a development issue, it also has a bearing on peace and security. The international community should approach the issue by making efforts in three areas.

First, it must strengthen the preservation, development and management of water resources in order to remove the root causes of conflicts driven by water scarcity. All countries should prioritize the safeguarding of peace and security, strengthen cooperation with others, improve scientific development of water resources and allocate water resources reasonably and conserve and efficiently use them. They should comprehensively upgrade their water-security-related capabilities so that the sharing of water resources can actually enhance mutually beneficial cooperation. In that way, we can also avoid friction and conflicts caused by water scarcity.

Secondly, we must engage in in-depth international cooperation on water resources. The international community should, via cooperation platforms such as the World Water Forum, conscientiously implement international consensus on water and sustainable development. Support should be given to the Global High-Level Panel on Water and Peace and the United Nations and World Bank High-Level Panel on Water and other, similar mechanisms in their efforts to actively promote international cooperation in that area.

The international community should provide further assistance to African countries, including by helping regional organizations such as the Senegal River Basin Development Organization and the Gambia River Basin Development Organization to comprehensively proceed with the preservation, development and utilization of transboundary water resources. African countries should be assisted in enhancing the development of water conservation infrastructure to benefit the African people. Fundamentally speaking, ensuring that everyone has access to safe water is an important safeguard for peace and security. The relevant United Nations bodies should strengthen their coordination and fully carry out their respective responsibilities and duties.

Thirdly, dialogue and cooperation must be strengthened in order to appropriately address issues related to transboundary water resources. Transboundary water resources affect the common well-being of countries on the lower and upper reaches of river basins. Parties should start by safeguarding regional peace and stability and regional common development and should be committed to strengthening coordination and communication so as to promote mutually beneficial cooperation. The relevant United Nations bodies and regional and subregional organizations should, at the request of the countries concerned, play a positive and active role in transboundary water resources cooperation by facilitating dialogue, cooperation and concerted actions among countries so as to contribute to the well-being of people living in river basins.

China places great emphasis on helping African countries and peoples to resolve water shortage problems. Within the framework of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, we have implemented dozens of well-drilling projects in Africa to supply water, including 100 clean energy projects, so as to help African countries to enhance their capacitybuilding in meteorological infrastructure and improve the preservation and management of their forests. China has also engaged in technical dialogue with other relevant countries to strengthen the exchange of experiences and help those countries develop plans regarding the use of water resources, flood control and disaster reduction, while helping them to upgrade their abilities to manage and develop water resources.

China stands ready to work together with the rest of the international community to promote the sustainable development and utilization of water resources and to promote peace and security in a bid to realize peace, stability, development and the prosperity of humankind.

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