|Statement by Yang Jiechi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China, at the High-Level Meeting on Africa of the UN Security Council|
Let me first congratulate France on assuming the Security Council Presidency for September. I am delighted to see President Sarkozy personally chair today's meeting.
A harmonious world of enduring peace and common prosperity would be beyond our reach without stability and development in Africa. A stable and developing Africa is what the African people seek, and it serves the common interests of all countries. The United Nations, the Security Council in particular, is duty bound to help Africa maintain and build peace and embark on the road toward durable prosperity and stability.
Peace in Africa faces both opportunities and challenges. It is necessary to make comprehensive efforts at the national, regional and global levels to achieve peace. Reconciliation, development and cooperation should be the three major pillars underpinning peace in Africa.
Reconciliation is the key to peace in Africa. All the ethnic groups and factions in countries concerned should put the national interests above everything else and endeavor to advance an inclusive political process, protect human rights, restore the rule of law, work together to promote national development, and enable all people to benefit from peace dividends. Disputes between states should be resolved through dialogue and consultation. This is the right way to address them. One cannot choose one's neighbor, but can certainly learn to live with the neighbor. Differences are inevitable, but ways can always be found to iron them out.
Development is the basis for peace in Africa. Conflicts are invariably accompanied by poverty and they form a vicious cycle. In the last analysis, peace in Africa hinges on whether there is faster economic and social progress, whether the MDGs can be met as scheduled and whether the benefit of development can reach all. The rich natural resources in Africa should be a source of peace, not war. Conflict prevention, peacekeeping and peace-building should all aim at promoting development. We support the international community's efforts to help Africa in terms of capital, technology and governance, but there should be respect for African countries' national conditions and development models and one should not impose its own way on them.
Cooperation is the means to achieve peace in Africa. Only unity among African countries can lead to a bright future for the continent. The African Union has since its founding played an effective role in resolving the Darfur issue and the Somalia issue. This fully shows that the African people are capable of resolving their problem in their own way. The international community, on its part, has a pressing need and more importantly, the moral obligation to help Africa. We support the United Nations and the Security Council in providing more assistance to regional organizations in institutional building, information sharing, personnel training and peacekeeping operations. When the Security Council decides to take mandatory measures, it should pay particular attention to the views of African countries.
The Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation was successfully held last November, during which it was decided to establish and develop a new type of China-Africa strategic partnership. A symbol of further growth of traditional China-Africa friendship, this partnership will boost China-Africa cooperation and contribute to world peace and development. China will, acting on the principles of equality and mutual trust, mutual respect, mutual benefit and common development, continue to strengthen its cooperation with Africa, and work together with the rest of the international community to promote peace and development in Africa.
Thank you, Mr. President.