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Remarks by Ambassador Zhang Jun at Security Council VTC on Situation in Great Lakes Region

2020-04-22 01:40

I thank Special Envoy Xia Huang for his briefing.

We are encouraged to hear the positive developments in the Great Lakes region during the past 6 months, including diplomatic efforts made by regional leaders to enhance cooperation and steps taken to implement commitments under the PSC framework. China applauds the positive momentum of the region.

Facing with longstanding challenges in the region, comprehensive approaches still need to be employed to achieve sustaining peace and development.

-We encourage regional countries to enhance cooperation and political trust, making further progress in the implementation of the PSC framework. China welcomes continued steps taken by President Tshisekedi to improve relations with neighboring countries, and diplomatic efforts made by him and Presidents of Angola, Uganda and Rwanda on the fourth Quadripartite Summit to facilitate the normalization of relations between Rwanda and Uganda.

-We should step up efforts to promote regional peace and stability, taking both military and non-military measures to eliminate threat posed by armed groups. The meetings of chiefs of intelligence and security services of signatory countries of the PSC framework laid a good foundation for further coordinated operations. We call on all parties to respond actively to Secretary General’s ceasefire appeal. We call on increasing attention from UN and regional organizations including ICGLR(International Conference of the Great Lakes Region) to push forward the DDR process of former combatants to stop the vicious circle of violence.

-More efforts should be made to address the root causes of conflict by dealing with poverty and underdevelopment. China supports Special Envoy Xia’s urge to advance efforts made toward regional economic integration and cooperation to overcome development challenges and his endeavor to reach out to financial institutions, notably the World Bank Group and the African Development Bank, and international community to attract investment. We note that the Great Lakes Investment and Trade Conference has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and we look forward to its early convening when conditions allow.

We agree that the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic is alarming. Countries in the Great Lakes region are among the most vulnerable in this crisis. China hereby echos the full support, expressed by the Guarantors of the PSC framework at a video conference convened by the Special Envoy’s office earlier this month, to coordinated efforts and joint decisions by regional countries to fight the pandemic. China has offered its hand to regional countries in various forms, providing medical supplies, sharing experience and assisting with commercial procurement. On 10 April, a general hospital built by China in Haut Katanga province, DRC, was handed over by Chinese Ambassador to DRC government. We will continue to do our utmost to provide assistance to our friends in the Great Lakes region and the whole African continent.

There is still a long way to go in achieving long-term peace and security in the region. China wishes to reaffirm its strong support to Special Envoy and his Office in delivering its mandate. We will continue to support regional countries, AU and other regional organizations to implement the PSC framework.

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