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Remarks by Ambassador Zhang Jun at Security Council Open VTC on UN Peacekeeping Operations: Police Commissioners 

2020-11-04 04:55

Madam President,

I thank Assistant-Secretary-General Zouev and the four police commissioners for their briefings. I wish to take this opportunity to pay high tribute to all the peacekeeping police officers implementing mandates on the frontline and their families.

Impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, peacekeeping operations are facing an ever more complex environment and more daunting challenges. Just now, ASG Zouev and the four police commissioners also testified to this in their briefings. The Security Council should ponder deeply about the landscape, tasks and future development of peacekeeping police and explore ways for enhancement and improvement. I would like to share the following points.

First, the safety and security of police in peacekeeping should be effectively guaranteed. The working environment of police in peacekeeping is becoming increasingly complex and dangerous. The United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), the United Nation Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) are some of the examples. Ensuring the safety and security of peacekeeping police is a prerequisite for the effective performance of duties. Member States and the Secretariat should take practical measures to fully implement Security Council resolution 2518 and help peacekeeping police strengthen the capabilities related to situational awareness and improve the equipment and medical conditions in an effort to minimize safety and security risks. China supports increasing the meaningful participation of women police officers in peacekeeping operations. There should also be full assessment of possible risks, proper safety and security training and thorough preparations before deployment.

Second, the capacity building of peacekeeping police should be strengthened and performance in peacekeeping improved. The implementation of the Secretary-General’s Action for Peacekeeping initiative hinges on bolstering peacekeeping capacity building. Member States and the Secretariat should work with one mind and in concert to help police contributing countries, provide targeted training for peacekeeping police and provide the latter with sufficient resources to perform their duties. Only when peacekeeping capacity building and resources are assured can peacekeeping performance be effectively improved. Police, civilian and military components of missions should work in synergy and beef up joint contingency command capabilities to properly respond to complex situations that may arise. China has always actively pushed for improvement of peacekeeping operations in honoring the commitment made by President Xi Jinping at the UN Peacekeeping Summit. Since 2015, the Chinese government has trained more than 1,000 peacekeeping police officers from various countries. We will continue to contribute to strengthening the capacity building of police for peacekeeping.

Third, it is imperative to serve the general direction of political settlement of hotspot issues. When formulating the mandates for police in peacekeeping, the Security Council should fully listen to the views of the country concerned and the police contributing countries to work out clear and operable mandates that are in keeping with the realities. In addition, the Council should act in light of the evolving situation to adjust in a timely fashion the mandates’ priorities and focus to serve the central goal of political settlement of hotspot issues. The peacekeeping police of MINUSCA should actively provide, under the Security Council mandate, logistical and security support for the election process and create an enabling environment for the peaceful and smooth holding of the general election. China supports the peacekeeping police of MINUSMA in helping the Mali transitional government advance steadily the transitional process and continue implementing the peace agreement.

It bears emphasizing that the primary responsibility for civilian protection should be borne by the government of the country concerned, and that peacekeeping police should focus on providing assistance to the country. UNMISS has made an important contribution to protecting the local civilians, but it will be impossible to keep its permanent presence in the country. The key lies in helping the country improve its capabilities for civilian protection. Now that the overall political situation in South Sudan is improving, the mission should gradually transfer the responsibility of protecting civilians to the national government.

Madam President,

This year marks the 20th anniversary of China’s initial dispatch of police to participate in UNPKOs. Over the past 20 years, China has altogether dispatched more than 2,600 police officers, among whom eight have sacrificed their precious lives. As we speak, there are still about 30 Chinese police officers performing peacekeeping tasks in South Sudan and Cyprus. Over the past 20 years, from Timor-Leste to Bosnia and Herzegovina, from Haiti to South Sudan, Chinese police have been involved in nine post-conflict countries on four continents and grown into experience sharers and plan contributors. China’s police are committed to injecting vitality into UNPKOs and contributing to the development of UN peacekeeping police and the maintenance of international peace and security.

Thank you, Madam President.

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