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The Blue Helmet: Lighting the Beacon of Peace

2014/09/26

——Intervention by H.E. Wang Yi Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China At the High-level Meeting on UN Peacekeeping

New York, 26 September 2014

Mr. Chair,

Since 1948, the Blue Helmet has become a symbol of the United Nations that brings peace to conflict zones and hope to local people.

Today, much has changed regarding the circumstances and mission of peacekeeping operations, which calls for constant improvement and innovation in peacekeeping in line with the changing times. China supports Secretary-General Ban's proposal for a review of peacekeeping operations. We believe this should be made a priority for the 69th session of the General Assembly, and we hope that positive progress could be made by the 70th anniversary of the United Nations next year. Here, I want to share with you the following four observations:

First, we need to improve operation mandate. When planning peacekeeping missions, the Security Council needs to set realistic and feasible goals with clearly defined priority tasks. Peacekeeping operations should be conducted in line with the situation on the ground rather than being a one-size-fits-all prescription, or being too broad or even all-inclusive.

There should be timely assessment of how a mandate is implemented and corresponding adjustments should be made in light of changing circumstances. There should be an exit strategy, which ensures smooth transition to peacebuilding. There should also be in-depth discussion on issues such as effective protection of civilians and robust mandate to build consensus.

Second, we need to make peacekeeping operations more effective. For people in conflict zones, time means life. It is of critical importance to enhance the rapid deployment capability of peacekeeping missions.

To this end, the Security Council, the Secretariat, the host country and troop contributing countries should have closer communication and coordination to improve the procedure of establishing a peacekeeping mission. The Global Field Support Strategy will come under a five-year review next year. The United Nations should seize this opportunity to improve the field support system.

Management over peacekeeping operations should be strengthened by rolling out practices that have been proven successful to raise the cost-effectiveness of peacekeeping resources and avoid duplication and waste.

Third, we need to enhance capacity building of peacekeeping operations. China calls on more countries with the proper capabilities and conditions to contribute troops and equipment to peacekeeping operations in order to address the serious shortage of peacekeeping resources.

The United Nations needs to develop unified standards for the organization, training and supervision of peacekeepers, and step up training of peacekeepers at all levels to prepare them for various regional conflicts.

Peacekeeping operations need to be supported with new technologies, equipment and means. Legal issues that may arise therefrom should be fully studied. The UN Charter must be observed and the sovereignty and will of host countries must be fully respected.

Fourth, we need to work closely with regional organizations. Peacekeeping cooperation between the United Nations and regional and sub-regional organizations is producing good results. We welcome the progress and view it as an important development of the international collective security mechanism.

The Secretariat needs to enhance coordination and collaboration with the African Union and other regional organizations so that peacekeeping missions will adapt well to different regional situations.

Mr. Chair,

China firmly supports UN peacekeeping operations and has always taken an active part in them.

China, a developing country as it is, is now the sixth largest contributor of UN peacekeeping funding among all member states, and the largest among developing countries. China is also the largest contributor of peacekeepers among the five permanent members of the Security Council. It has sent over 25,000 peacekeepers to UN peacekeeping missions. Seventeen Chinese soldiers and policemen have given their lives to the mission. As we speak, more than 2,100 Chinese peacekeepers are on their posts safeguarding peace in conflict zones.

In the future, China will give continued, strong support to UN peacekeeping operations and will even expand its involvement.

China will send a 700-strong infantry battalion to the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). This will be the first Chinese infantry battalion to participate in a peacekeeping mission.

China is considering sending helicopters to the UN Peacekeeping Operation. This would be the first-ever involvement of Chinese airmen in a peacekeeping mission.

China is ready to send more civilian policemen, including forensic experts and criminal detectives, to peacekeeping operations.

China will continue to support, to the extent of its ability, efforts to strengthen peacekeeping capacity building of African countries, including the establishment of African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crises (ACIRC).

China now operates a Peacekeeping Center of the Ministry of National Defense and a China Peacekeeping Police Training Center (CPPTC). China looks forward to hosting more training activities in these two centers.

Peacekeeping is the unchanged commitment of China and the mission that China keeps fighting for. China's development leads to further growth of the force for peace. A prosperous and strong China will make more active and important contribution to world peace. We could well foresee that more and more Chinese troops will put on the sacred Blue Helmet and discharge their mission to bring the hope of peace to places in the world where it is wanted and needed.

Thank you.

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