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Remarks by Ambassador Dai Bing at the UN Security Council Briefing on the Great Lakes Region

2022-10-27 12:04

Mr. President, 

I thank Special Envoy XIA Huang for his briefing. I welcome the presence of the representatives of DRC, South Africa, Rwanda and Burundi at today’s meeting.

For some time now, the countries of the Great Lakes region have been strengthening solidarity and cooperation in a joint response to security challenges, promoting regional cooperation and sustainable development and solving African issues in the African way, demonstrating resilience and wisdom. China highly commends this. That said, it must also be noted that there is still a long way to go before achieving peace and development in the region. Violence in eastern DRC is still ongoing. Terrorism and ethnic tensions are difficult to resolve in the short run, and livelihood and development issues are being more acutely felt. Facing these challenges on the ground, regional countries should further step up coordination and deepen security and development cooperation. The Security Council and the international community should give the subregion more attention, invest more and give more constructive support. 

First, we need to support regional counties in standing together, and staying on the right track towards common security. The Great Lakes region is an interdependent security community with a shared future. Only by upholding the concept of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, being of one mind and working together, can the common security threats be effectively addressed. The EAC and the ICGLR have been actively engaged in good offices on the issue of eastern DRC, through the launch of the Nairobi process and the Luanda roadmap. Kenya, Angola and others have also done a great deal of work with positive outcomes. Regional countries need to continue to stay on the right track of maintaining common security, and resolve their differences through dialogue and consultation on the basis of respect for each other's interests and concerns. The international community should fully support the leading role played by regional countries, and the coordinated progress of the Nairobi and Luanda processes. In February next year, Burundi will host the 11th leaders meeting of the Regional Oversight Mechanism of the Framework Document for Peace, Security and Cooperation in the DRC and the region. China looks forward to a successful outcome to inject more positive energy into regional peace and stability. 

Second, we need to support a multi-pronged approach combining military and non-military means, to eliminate regional security threats as soon as possible. In their response to the unrest caused by the rebel groups in eastern DRC, regional countries have taken prompt actions, the EAC and the DRC pushed for the deployment of joint forces, Burundi provided bilateral military support to the DRC within the framework of the Nairobi process, and Uganda conducted joint military operations with the DRC. These self-initiated efforts to maintain stability deserve full recognition, and the international community should provide the necessary support in terms of funding and equipment. At the same time, non-military means must also be advanced in parallel to create synergy. Uganda convened a meeting of regional heads of intelligence and security in August, to facilitate the work of the Contact and Coordination Group, thus contributing to regional cooperation in addressing security challenges. Disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of armed groups is the only way to defuse regional security threats. Regional countries have formulated relevant plans and put them into action gradually, and international community should provide necessary political and financial support. The unlawful exploitation of natural resources is another important factor affecting regional stability. The Council held thematic meeting on this issue under Gabon’s  presidency. Special Envoy XIA Huang has also made tremendous efforts to push for solution. International community must work together to implement the recommendations of the 2021 Khartoumu High Level Workshop on Natural Resources, so as to a break off illicit financing for terrorist organizations and armed groups, and to actively advanced lawful trade, making natural resources a highlight for regional cooperation. 

Third, we need to push for peace through development, and tackle the root causes of regional instability and conflicts. The countries of the region have come to a profound understanding of the dialectics between development and security, and have taken a number of results-based cooperation initiatives. The SG report notes that the DRC, Burundi, South Sudan, Zambia, Uganda, Tanzania, etc, have cooperated extensively in the areas of productive capacity, infrastructure development, trade and investment and agriculture development. These efforts will help unlock the potential for economic growth,build stronger indigenous drivers for development, tighten the bones of regional interests, and accumulate more resources and means to maintain regional peace and security. China is important partner in the sustainable development of the region, and has helped regional counties implement a good variety of development projects under the framework of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation. China recently announced the first list of Global Development Initiative project pool, bringing benefits to countries in the region. We’ll continue to deepen our cooperation with regional countries in the field of development, and promote the timely achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. 

Mr. President, 

Special Envoys XIA Huang traveled extensively to regional countries, actively conducting good offices at the political level, and working diligently to promote regional cooperation and address common challenges. The UN Office for the Great Lakes region has actively promoted the implementation of the New Strategy and Action Plan for the region, and achieved a series of important results. China commences this, and looks forward to UN regional presence mobilizing resources across the board, to make greater progress in the implementation of the New Strategy and Action Plan, and to achieve more early harvest outcomes. China stands ready to work with the international community to contribute more to the fulfillment of lasting peace and stability in the Great Lakes region. 

I thank you, Mr. President.

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