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Statement by Ambassador LIU Jieyi at the Security Council Open Debate on Enhancing African Capacities in the Areas of Peace and Security

2017/07/19

China thanks Secretary-General Guterres and Mr. Chergui, the Commissioner for Peace and Security of the African Union (AU), for their briefings. We greatly appreciate their important efforts to promote capacity-building in the area of peace and security in Africa. The peace and security of the world constitute an indivisible whole. Enhancing African capacities in the areas of peace and security is in the interests of the entire international community and represents an important responsibility of the Security Council.

In recent years, African countries have worked in unison to address African problems in African ways, thereby making great contributions to the maintenance of peace and security in the continent. The twenty-ninth AU Summit, which just concluded, decided to preserve the Union’s commitment to addressing the hotspot issues in Africa, to continue to enhance African capacities in peace and security, to reinforce Africa’s collective security mechanism and to improve the African peace and security framework. The Summit also reaffirmed the goal of silencing the guns by 2020.

That important decision demonstrates to the international community Africa’s resolve to strive for peace and security, and represents an important contribution to international peace and security, for which China wishes to express its great appreciation. Africa is still confronted with multiple challenges in the areas of peace and security. Some countries of the region are still plagued by ongoing conflicts or political instability. Terrorist groups, such as ISIL and Al-Qaida, are infiltrating the heartland of the continent and are engaging in rampant terrorist activities in collusion with other terrorist organizations, such as Boko Haram and Al-Shabaab. Some African countries suffer from sluggish economic growth and are beset with problems of unemployment, poverty and refugees.

In the face of those difficulties, Africa is not fully equipped for the tasks of conflict prevention and resolution and the maintenance of peace and security, and AU peace operations are constrained by inadequacies in financial resources, equipment, technology and management systems. The international community must vigorously help Africa solve those difficulties and support the continent in its capacity-building in the areas of peace and security.

First, we need to continuously improve the cooperation partnership between the United Nations and the African Union, as well as other regional and subregional organizations.

In recent years, the United Nations has carried out fruitful cooperation with the AU on the questions of Darfur, the Sudan, Somalia and Mali. In April this year, the two organizations signed the Joint United Nations-African Union Framework for an Enhanced Partnership in Peace and Security so as to further strengthen their partnership in this area. We hope that the Joint Framework will be put into practice at an early date, and we support the United Nations in continuing, on the basis of full respect for the leadership of Africa in their efforts to address the continent’s security problems, to deepen coordination with the AU and other regional and subregional organizations, and to strengthen cooperation with Africa in conflict-prevention, crisis management and post-conflict reconstruction. The Security Council should increase communication and coordination with the AU Peace and Security Council, build mechanisms for joint planning, decision-making, assessment and briefings, jointly conduct work in the areas of early warning, strategic review, mandate design and deployment, and continuously improve cooperation.

Secondly, we need to effectively support peace operations conducted by the AU, which represent an important means for responding to crises in the African continent and provide a welcome supplement to United Nations peacekeeping operations. The actions taken by the AU in Somalia, the Lake Chad basin and the Sahel have played an important role in addressing the crises there. However, AU peace operations are faced with difficulties in terms of personnel, funds and resources. Not long ago, the Secretary-General and the Chairperson of the AU Commission submitted their respective reports to the Security Council on support for AU peace operations, which called on the Council to consider models of United Nations financing of AU peace operations. China supports the United Nations in its efforts to give positive consideration to the proposals made by Africa and to provide adequate, stable and sustainable funds to AU peace operations through assistance aimed at helping them to establish a sustained, stable and predictable funding mechanism, so that AU peace operations can enhance their capacities in mandate designation, financing, mandate implementation and management. There is a need to help the AU speed up the building of a standby force, a rapid reaction force and an early-warning mechanism. We also need to deepen cooperation in military technology and expand the scope of military training.

Thirdly, we need to support Africa in addressing the root causes of conflicts. Africa’s hotspots involve complex national, ethnic, religious and social tensions. It is therefore necessary to address both the symptoms and the root causes. While giving attention to the current problems of peace and security, we need also to work to eliminate the source of those problems, particularly by supporting Africa in its efforts to accelerate development and reduce poverty, thereby eliminating the breeding grounds for conflicts and extremism. The twenty-ninth AU Summit chose youth as its theme and focused on youth employment and poverty reduction. The international community should combine its efforts to help Africa implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with the Africa Union’s Agenda 2063; start working on infrastructure-building in the areas of medical care, education, the economy, trade and interconnectivity; and focus on addressing the problems facing Africa in such areas as youth, women and children, refugees and employment with a view to enhancing socioeconomic development in African countries.

Fourthly, we need to keep strengthening United Nations peacekeeping efforts in Africa. Africa is the focus of the Security Council’s agenda and of United Nations peacekeeping operations. The United Nations peacekeeping operations in Africa must uphold the basic principles of peacekeeping, respect the sovereignty of host countries, take into account all factors, such as the practical needs of host countries, the security environment and the mandate’s goals, design well-targeted mandates for peacekeeping missions, and adjust the priorities and the focus of work for different phases. The Secretariat needs to take effective measures to improve its command system for peacekeeping operations in Africa; increase the efficiency of the missions; take measures to ensure the safety and security of peacekeepers; enhance early-warning capacity to deal with security threats; and provide adequate logistical guarantees.

China has been a firm supporter of the efforts of African countries to address African issues in African ways. China has taken an active part in United Nations peacekeeping operations in Africa, with 2,600 peacekeepers currently serving in Africa. We have also participated actively in combating piracy and in escorting commercial ships off the coast of Somalia. In 2015, the China-Africa Cooperation Forum developed 10 major China-Africa cooperation plans, which cover economic and social development as well as peace and security. In the areas of peace and security, China will focus on enhancing Africa’s peacebuilding capacity, including supporting the establishment of a standby force and a rapid reaction force of Africa. Currently, the relevant work is well under way. The Belt and Road initiative proposed by China will help Africa realize its own development and solve the root causes of conflicts. China will uphold the idea of wide consultations, joint contribution and benefit-sharing, cooperate closely with African countries within the framework of the Belt and Road initiative, continue to help and support Africa in enhancing its capacity in peace and security, with a view to realizing an early settlement of the hotspot issues in Africa and achieving peace, stability and the development of the African continent.

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