|Explanation of Vote by Ambassador Zhang Jun on the UN Security Council Resolution on the Withdrawal of MINUSMA|
The Security Council just unanimously adopted a resolution that terminates the mandate of MINUSMA and makes specific arrangements for its drawdown and withdrawal. China voted in favor of the draft resolution.
China expects the UN Secretariat to develop a practical and feasible plan for steps such as the withdrawal of MINUSMA peacekeepers and personnel and the liquidation of its assets based on the Security Council's request, so as to ensure a safe, orderly, and timely withdrawal operation. China appreciates the long-standing efforts made by TCCs and PCCs to support the implementation of the peace agreement in Mali. In order to ensure a safe and orderly withdrawal of the Mission and safeguard the security of peacekeepers and UN assets, MINUSMA and the UN Secretariat should continue to work closely with the Malian Government.
UN peacekeeping operations are important means for the Security Council to fulfill its responsibility of maintaining international peace and security. Historical experience has proven that peacekeeping operations must follow the basic principles developed in practice of a long period of times, in particular, the principle of consent of the countries concerned. Missions should maintain communication with the governments of the countries concerned and keep a relationship of mutual trust and cooperation, which is a prerequisite for smooth peacekeeping operations. We hope that the Security Council will always give prominence to strengthening cooperation between peacekeeping operations and the countries concerned and work tireless towards that end.
At present, many African countries, including those in the Sahel region, are facing multiple threats such as terrorism, humanitarian crisis, and challenges related to poverty, reduction, development and climate change. Maintaining regional peace and stability is in the common interest of the international community. China expects the international community to pay attention to the practical difficulties and needs faced by Mali and other countries in the region and continue to provide assistance and support on the basis of respect for the sovereignty and leadership of the countries concerned.
Since 2013 when China began its involvement in the UN peacekeeping operations in Mali, Chinese peacekeepers have faithfully fulfilled their peacekeeping mission despite our difficulties and dangerous and contributed Chinese efforts to the maintenance of peace and stability in the country. China has sent multiple batches of guards, defense infantry, engineering and medical contingents to Mali, who have excellently fulfilled missions such as armed patrols, guard and defense, engineering support, emergency construction, casualty care, and medical support, and have won the recognition of the Malian Government and people. In June this year, the 398 peacekeepers of the tenth Chinese peacekeeping troops to MINUSMA were awarded the UN Peace Medal of Honor.
China will continue to support Mali in safeguarding its sovereignty, territorial integrity, and national security, and make more contributions towards peaceful development via multilateral and bilateral channels.
Thank you, Madam President.