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Speech by Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs of China Mr. Cui Tiankai at the United Nations Security Council Open Debate on Security Sector Reform

2007/02/20

Mr. President,
Dear Colleagues,

Let me congratulate you, Mr. President, on Slovakia's presidency of the Security Council for this month. I wish to commend Slovakia's initiative for holding this open debate. I am pleased to see you preside over the meeting personally.

Mr. President,

The Security Sector Reform has become an important part of peace keeping and peace building. The UN's practice in Liberia and Sierra Leone shows that the efforts to reform the Security Sector proves to be effective in restoring peace and promoting development. It also reminds us that this reform is still facing multiple problems and challenges. How should we address them? Let me share with you my ideas as follows:

1. In carrying out the Security Sector Reform, we should bear in mind the general goal of peace keeping and peace building, with the focus on durable peace and sustained development of countries concerned. The reform should aim to ensure the involvement of the security sectors such as the army and police in nation building, preservation of stability and promotion of economic growth. They should not be used as a tool for wars and violence, even less as the catalyst for conflicts and chaos.

2. The Security Sector Reform should serve the comprehensive strategy of peace keeping and peace building. As they involve various aspects, the mandates of UN missions are different from one another. The reform should match and complement the efforts for reconciliation, economic recovery, rule of law and human rights protection and vice versa. The international community should place equal importance and make parallel efforts in regard of those aspects.

3. The important role of the United Nations should be fully recognized in Security Sector Reform. Presently, there are too many institutions involved in the reform and too little coordination among them. As a result, efficiency suffers. The United Nations, in its unique position, should play the leading and coordinating role in the reform and mobilize all resources to increase efficiency. The UN could formulate a comprehensive approach to the Security Sector Reform by drawing on its practices proved effective over years of UN peacekeeping operations. The UN General Assembly, the Security Council, the Peace-building Commission and relevant UN missions should be more involved and the coordination and communication between the UN and relevant regional organizations be strengthened.

4. The will of the countries concerned should be respected in Security Sector Reform. In the final analysis, the rebuilding of national institutions depends on the countries themselves. As they have different conditions and problems, it is useful to consult them and listen to their opinions. The international community, on its part, should act more as an advisor and assistance provider aiming at improving their "blood-building" capacity and helping them find a mechanism and approach that fit their own conditions, instead of going beyond given mandates or even acting arbitrarily.

Dear Colleagues,

The United Nation was founded following the scourges of the two World Wars. It has the important responsibility to build a harmonious world of lasting peace and common prosperity in the 21st century. We are duty-bound to reach out to those people who are suffering from conflicts, help them get out of the abyss of war, restore law and order, and enjoy stability and security. We should bring the conflicting parties together through mutual tolerance, resolution of differences and national reconciliation. We should help them heal the wounds of conflict, embark on the road to development and thus enable them to enjoy the dividends of peace. All these lies the spirit of the Charter of the United Nations and are essential to conflict prevention as well as peace keeping and peace building. China is ready to work with you to turn these objectives into reality.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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