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Remarks by Ambassador Dai Bing at the UN Security Council Briefing on UNOWAS

2022-07-07 22:27

Mr. President,

At the outset, I would like to congratulate Brazil on assuming the Presidency of the Council for this month and wish them success. I also congratulate Albania on the successful conclusion of their presidency last month. I thank Special Representative Annadif Khatir Mahamat Saleh and Ambassador Rabab Fatima for their briefings. I have also listened attentively to the statement of Ms. Rabia Djibo Magag. Since assuming duty, SRSG Annadif has led UNOWAS to activate carry out political mediation. The PBC has helped relevant countries achieve lasting peace, with the large amount of work done by Ambassador Fatima. China appreciate their efforts. 

Currently, West Africa and the Sahel is facing complex and grim political and security situation. Secretary-General Guterres visited three countries in the region in May this year, calling on the international community to increase attention and input to help countries in the region cope with the challenges. In conjunction with the Secretary-General’s report and the briefings heard, I would like to mention the following points. 

First is to stay committed to the overall direction of resolving political differences through dialogue. Since the beginning of this year, countries such as Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Benin, and Togo have been actively preparing for elections. Cote d’Ivoire has held political dialogue, and the Gambia has held parliamentary elections. Many countries will start their election agendas next year. The international community should respect the sovereignty and leadership of regional countries, support them in following development paths that suit their national conditions, and support the parties concerned in solving differences through dialogue. ECOWAS recently held a summit, which made important decisions such as lifting the sanctions against Mali. China supports Africa in finding African solutions to African issues, and supports ECOWAS in continuing to maintain dialogue with countries in political transition, to jointly advance the political transition along the right track. 

Second is to pay high attention to maintaining security and stability in the region. Recently, violent terrorist forces in the region have frequently launched attacks, spreading their activities from the Sahel countries to coastal countries along the Gulf of Guinea, seriously jeopardizing regional security and stability. Counter-terrorism is a comprehensive war. And countries in the region form an inseparable security community. China supports these countries in strengthening cooperation in terms of equipment, intelligence, and logistical supplies, promoting DDR of ex-combatants, and actively and effectively curbing the spread of terrorism. When countries outside the region adjust their military deployment, it is necessary to strengthen communication and coordination with countries in the region to avoid creating any security vacuum. 

The G5 Sahel countries are at the forefront of counter-terrorism, and have made great efforts and big sacrifices to curb the spread of terrorist forces over the years. Their role in counter-terrorism in the region and the broader African continent is really irreplaceable. Counter-terrorism cooperation between the G5 countries faced some difficulties over the past period. We hope that the five countries will seize the opportunity of ECOWAS lifting the sanctions against Mali to strengthen solidarity and cooperation, remove obstacles, and build regional counter-terrorism bulwark. The international community should provide sustained and predictable financial support to counter-terrorism operations in the region. China supports the AU and ECOWAS in conducting a joint strategic assessment of the Sahel issue, giving new impetus to regional counter-terrorism cooperation. 

Third is to strengthen national capacity building in the region. Many African countries face multiple challenges in post-pandemic recovery. 30 million people in the Sahara need humanitarian assistance. 6.2 million are displaced. And the food security is in a dire situation. This is really disconcerting. According to the Secretary-General’s report, the lack of development funds and humanitarian assistance has become a severe challenge faced by many countries in the region. The international community and relevant countries should maintain the level of assistance, and honor their commitments through action. The focus should be on helping countries in the region strengthen capacity building, and prevent and defuse risks. 

The maritime security situation in the Gulf of Guinea has seen improvement, mainly thanks to the joint efforts of the countries in the region. China supports the international community in increasing attention and input on this issue, and actively carrying out regional and international cooperation. 

China pays attention to the challenges posed by climate change to countries in the region. During his visit to the region, the Secretary-General called on developed countries to honor their 100 billion climate finance commitments to developing countries. We hope that developed countries will follow the call of the Secretary-General, and provide tangible assistance to regional countries to adapt to the impact of climate change. 

On June 24, China held a High-level Dialogue on Global Development, announcing a series of major measures to implement the Global Development Initiative, and calling on all parties to follow the development pattern featuring mutual benefits, balance, coordination, and inclusiveness, win-win cooperation, and common prosperity. These initiatives address tough issues such as difficulties in global economic recovery, the widening development gap between the North and the South, the lack of momentum for international development cooperation, and the increasing marginalization of development issues. They echo the common concerns of regional and developing countries. China is committed to building a global partnership for development, and looks forward to working with all to speed up the implementation of the outcomes of high level dialogue to leave no country and no one behind by making greater contribution to the peaceful development of the regional countries. 

Thank you, Mr. President.

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