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Statement by Ambassador LIU Jieyi at the Security Council Briefing on the Cooperation between the United Nations and the African Union

2017/06/15

China commends Bolivia for convening today's meeting, and would like to thank Mr. Chergui, Commissioner for Peace and Security of the African Union (AU); Mr. Kaberuka, African Union High Representative for the Peace Fund; and Ms. Viotti, Chef de Cabinet of the Secretary-General, for their briefings.

As the continent with the world's greatest development potential, Africa is an important force in our efforts to achieve world peace and promote shared development. In the past few years, we have seen the countries of Africa commit to cooperation, self-reliance, unity and coordination and to actively promoting the resolution of African issues in African ways. They have strengthened and developed their collective security mechanisms and achieved outstanding results in dealing with the conflicts in Liberia and Côte d'Ivoire, thereby making important contributions to the maintenance of peace and security in Africa and the world at large. China heartily commends those efforts.

Some parts of Africa are still facing severe political, security and humanitarian challenges. Terrorist organizations such as Boko Haram, the Lord's Resistance Army, Al-Shabaab and others are still a threat to security. Transnational organized crime in the Sahel and piracy in the Gulf of Guinea are still rampant. The international community must continue to enhance its attention and support through continued assistance aimed at improving Africa's peace, security and development capacities.

In view of the evolving state of peace and security in Africa, the United Nations and the African Union have been actively exploring the ways and areas in which they can deepen their cooperation. Last year, the Security Council adopted resolution 2320 (2016), designed to enhance that cooperation. In April, the two organizations signed the Joint United Nations-African Union Framework for an Enhanced Partnership in Peace and Security. A few days ago, the Secretary-General submitted a report to the Security Council (S/2017/454), as did the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, supporting autonomous African Union peace operations. China would like to commend the Council for focusing on finding solutions to African issues and supporting capacity-building for peace and security in Africa. We hope it will continue that momentum and focus its future cooperation efforts on the following areas.

First, the Council should fully respect the role of African countries in settling their own problems and ensure that it is a dominant one. The African Union and Africa's other regional and subregional organizations have unique advantages and a wealth of experience in resolving hotspot issues on the continent. Looking at the success achieved by the Security Council and the African Union in addressing many such issues, we believe that African countries have the ability and wisdom they need to handle their problems appropriately. The Council should fully respect African proposals and ideas, as well as the sovereignty and views of countries hosting peace operations, and enhance its cooperation and coordination with the AU and subregional organizations with a view to creating political synergies.

Secondly, the Council should work to continually improve the cooperation mechanisms between the AU and the United Nations. While our Organization has been increasing the closeness of its cooperation with the African Union in responding to issues in problem areas in Africa, both sides must further improve that cooperation and coordination by making the mechanisms more effective and emphasizing key areas such as conflict prevention, crisis management and post-conflict reconstruction. They should work to gradually improve joint planning, decision-making, assessment and reporting, and to jointly implement early-warning procedures for crises, strategic assessments, the creation of mandates, deployments and other efforts. The goal will be to ensure that strategic coordination between the United Nations and the AU and other regional organizations can be implemented in each particular area at various stages and levels, so as make cooperation more efficient.

Thirdly, the Council should take concrete measures to help the African Union improve its capacity-building. The AU's autonomous peace operations have become a very important route by which the international community can respond to conflicts and crises in Africa. They represent a significant complement to United Nations peacekeeping operations and play a major role in maintaining peace and stability on the continent. Owing to its difficulties in obtaining financial resources, equipment and technology, the African Union has been struggling with the challenge of sustaining effective autonomous operations. China therefore welcomes the Secretary-General's recommendations for supporting those operations.

We believe that the United Nations should listen to the needs and wishes of the AU by helping it speed up its development of its standby and rapid-reaction forces, counter regional terrorism and establish sustainable, stable and predictable financing mechanisms for its peace operations. We hope that the Security Council and the Secretariat will listen seriously to African countries' views and concerns and will regard African priorities as their own, working with all possible speed to provide the necessary financing, equipment and resources for African peace operations in support of the efforts of the countries and regional organizations concerned to maintain peace and security.

China has always worked actively to implement cooperative efforts with African countries in the area of peace and security. President Xi Jinping has outlined five pillars and 10 cooperation plans aimed at building the Sino-African relationship that cover peace and security issues. We have committed to providing military aid amounting to a total of $100 million by 2020 in support of the AU's standby and rapid-reaction forces. The China-United Nations Peace and Development Trust Fund is now operational and will have a lifespan of 10 years. It will help the United Nations focus on peace and development projects in Africa. Currently, China has 2,600 peacekeepers deployed to seven missions, including Mali, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan. China has dispatched escort vessels to the waters off the Somali coast and the Gulf of Aden in an effort to help regional countries fight piracy. We are ready to work together with the rest of the international community to fully promote cooperation between the United Nations and the African Union so as to achieve peace, stability and development on the African continent.

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