|Fulfilling a Serious Commitment to a Future of Peace|
|Statement by WANG Yi at the Security Council Open Debate on UN Peacekeeping Operations|
Let me start by commending Ethiopia for initiating today's debate. I also want to thank Secretary-General AntÓnio Guterres, Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat and His Excellency José Manuel Ramos-Horta for their briefings. China welcomes the unanimous adoption of Security Council Resolution 2378.
Given the new circumstances and new challenges facing UN peacekeeping operations, China supports reasonable and necessary reform to enable the peacekeeping missions to fully implement their mandates. The Chinese side would like to make a few observations here.
First, the purposes and principles of the Charter should be upheld as the cornerstone of peacekeeping. Basic norms governing international relations including sovereign equality, non-intervention in other states' domestic matters and peaceful settlement of disputers, together with the guiding principles for peacekeeping operations arising therefrom, must always be strictly observed.
Second, the pursuit of political settlement should remain central to peacekeeping missions. To solve disputes by political and peaceful means is a fundamental tenet of the UN Charter. Therefore, peacekeeping operations should give priority to political settlement and follow sound planning in light of the actual situation on the ground.
Third, peacekeeping operations should be blessed with strong support of the UN's various partners. It is important to motivate the host countries and the troop and fund contributing countries, fully leverage the role of regional and sub-regional organizations, and forge closer partnerships.
Fourth, peacekeeping operations should serve sustainable development, which will prove a silver bullet. It is important to foster through reform a safe and stable environment in the host countries and facilitate efforts to achieve sustainable development and eliminate poverty and other root causes of conflict.
In recent years, some African countries have encountered challenges to their peace and security. The international community, the UN in particular, should enhance all-round cooperation with the African Union (AU) in the area of peacekeeping. Efforts should focus on the following three aspects:
First, we need to enhance political support. We need to support the efforts of African countries to solve African issues independently in an African way and intensify cooperation with the AU in such areas as conflict prevention, crisis management and post-conflict reconstruction.
Second, we need to strengthen support for capacity building. We should help enhance AU's capacity in various fields in light of its aspirations and needs, and assist it in establishing permanent and rapid response forces and an early-warning mechanism as soon as possible.
Third, we need to scale up financial support. The Chinese side supports the AU proposal on peacekeeping financing and hopes that the Security Council will promptly come up with a concrete method to support independent AU peace operations in accordance with the provisions of Resolutions 2320 and 2378.
China has been a staunch supporter of and an active participant in UN peacekeeping operations. It is a major troop contributor and the second largest financial contributor. We have dispatched a total of around 35,000 troops and 2,700 police to peacekeeping operations.
At the UN Peacekeeping Summit in 2015, President Xi Jinping put forth new peacekeeping initiatives and announced a host of major measures China would take to support peacekeeping operations. We always honor our promises.
China has formed an 8,000-strong standby force and a permanent police squad, and provided training to over 800 peacekeepers from the UN and relevant countries. We have deployed our first helicopter squad for UN peacekeeping operations in Africa. China is making good on its pledged free military aid of US$ 100 million to the AU, and has identified the support for peacekeeping operations as a major area for the use of the China-UN Peace and Development Fund.
Peace is hard to make and even harder to keep. As a permanent member of the Security Council and the largest developing country, China knows full well the value of peace. We will continue to work shoulder to shoulder with other peace-loving nations to give concrete support to UN peacekeeping operations and in particular to African countries. Together, we will make our planet a place of durable peace.
Thank you, Mr. President.