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Remarks by Ambassador Zhang Jun at the UN Security Council Briefing on Somalia

2023-06-22 15:45

Mr. President, 

At the outset, I welcome President Hassan Sheihk Mohamud to today's meeting. This will help the Security Council gain a better knowledge of the reality in and the concerns of Somalia, so as to support Somalia in a more targeted manner in achieving stability, development and security. 

I also welcome the very first briefing to the Security Council by the new Special Representative Catriona Laing. I listened attentively to the briefings by Special Representative Mohamed El-Amine Souef and Executive Director Cindy McCain.

At present, Somalia has registered important progress in its political process, security transition, and national reconstruction among others, yet it is still facing major challenges. Secretary-General Guterres visited Somalia in April this year, when he called upon the United Nations and the international community to stand with Somalia. In light of the Secretary-General's report, I wish to stress three points. 

First, continuing to advance the political process in Somalia. Recently, President Mohamud presided over multiple meetings at the National Consultative Council and actively discussed major issues with Federal Member States regarding the federal system and the national security architecture, among others. China calls upon the Federal Government of Somalia to enhance mutual trust through dialogue with Federal Member States to find solutions for lasting peace and stability in the country. The international community must respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Somalia, uphold the Somali-led and Somali-owned principle, and provide constructive support. We oppose any actions that undermine the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Somalia and lead to separation in the country. 

In Las Anod, clashes continued to break out between the security forces of Somaliland and local militia. We urge parties to the conflict to immediately cease hostilities, withdraw their forces, engage in dialogue, and effectively protect the security of the people. 

Second, accelerating the security transition. The terrorist threat by Al-Shabaab is far from eliminated. China strongly condemns the recent attacks by Al-Shabaab on the Pearl Beach Hotel in Mogadishu and the camp of ATMIS, among others, and offers its condolences for the peacekeepers killed in the attacks, including the Ugandan peacekeepers. At present, the security transition of Somalia is at a critical phase. The Somali Government should accelerate capacity building of its security forces and enhance its independent counterterrorism capabilities. China welcomes the Frontline States Initiative reached among Somalia, Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Kenya, and the deepening of regional counterterrorism cooperation to safeguard common security. The Security Council should, in light of the developments in the situation, review and adjust the arms embargo measures on Somalia and support the country in strengthening its defense capabilities. 

China appreciates the significant contributions made by ATMIS to the security and stability of Somalia. The Security Council is discussing the issue of the transition of ATMIS. We hope that the Somali Government will step up coordination and cooperation with ATMIS, steadily advance the drawdown plan of ATMIS, and ensure the steady and orderly handover of security responsibilities. Pending the withdrawal of ATMIS, the EU and other relevant financial contributors should provide ATMIS with adequate, sustainable, and predictable funding support. 

Third, promoting development and achieving lasting peace. During his visit to Somalia, Secretary-General Guterres made the call that while carrying out counterterrorism operations, help must be provided for Somalia to strengthen social resilience and enhance security and stability. In areas recovered in military operations, the Somali Government should meet the basic needs of the people, promote stronger national belonging, and maintain lasting stability. At present, the humanitarian situation in Somalia is grim, with half of the population in dire need of humanitarian aid and 6.6 million people facing food security issues. The international community should step up humanitarian assistance and ensure the timely disbursement of humanitarian funding. Somalia should also improve humanitarian access and support international humanitarian operations. SRSG Laing should play a coordinating role, mobilizing international resources and creating enabling conditions for the development and stability of Somalia. 

The future of Somalia should be in the hands of the Somali people. China, as a good friend and good partner of Somalia, has always been friendly supporting Somalia in enhancing its efforts for lasting peace and national reconstruction, and supporting the country and enhancing its capacity in counterterrorism and maintaining stability. Since last year, we have provided two patches of emergency food aid, engaged in practical cooperation in areas such as agriculture, education, and fishery, among others, and contributed to the reconstruction of Somalia. China stands ready to work with the international community to contribute even more to the achievement of lasting peace and stability in Somalia. 

Thank you.

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