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Statement by Ambassador Wang Min at the Security Council Open Debate on United Nations Peacekeeping Operations

2014-06-11 10:07

The Chinese delegation appreciates the Russian initiativeto convene today's open debate. I thank Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for his briefing.

United Nations peacekeeping operations, as an important United Nations tool in the maintenance of international peace and security for over six decades, have significantly contributed to the settlement of conflicts and disputes, and the restoration and building of peace. Meanwhile, given the changing nature of conflicts and disputes in recent years, the concept and practices of peacekeeping operations have displayed new trends and characteristics.

How can United Nations peacekeeping operations fulfil evolving requirements, grow in effectiveness and better promote political settlements, while ensuring a stable and sustainable security environment for peace consolidation and peacebuilding? The subject merits the international community's in-depth consideration within a peacebuilding framework. I wish to focus on the following five points.

First, continued adherence to the guiding principles of peacekeeping - that is, the parties' consent, impartiality and the non-use of force except in self-defence or implementation of the mandate - is fundamental to winning the confidence and support of Member States for peacekeeping operations and ensuring their smooth conduct. China approves of innovations and improvement in certain peacekeeping practices, in the light of current developments and realities, but the basic principles are key to ensuring the healthy development of such operations and should be upheld over the longer term. Any practice that deviates from or weakens those principles will hamper the operation's impartiality and objectivity and, worse yet, could transform the United Nations into a party to conflict, thereby undermining the conflict resolution efforts of the international community.

Secondly, in implementing peacekeeping mandates, United Nations peacekeeping missions should strictly abide by the Council's resolutions and fully respect the leading role of the countries in question. The deployment of peacekeeping missions is not a goal in itself and cannot substitute for the responsibilities and obligations of the host Government and the parties to the conflict concerning the protection of civilians. Such missions should instead focus on promoting peace and stability in conflict situations through political settlement and reconciliation processes, and on helping the countriesin question effectively to assume their responsibilities for the protection of their own nationals.

Thirdly, it is very important to ensure the dovetailing of peacekeeping and peacebuilding efforts and to consolidate the fruits of those efforts in order to ensure lasting peace and stability. In determining the mandates of peacekeeping operations, the Council should attach priority to the urgent need for security and stability, while focusing on long-term perspectives by taking into account the current realities of the country in question, strengthening coordination between peacebuilding and peacekeeping, and strengthening the country's capacities, while ensuring a smooth transition from peacekeeping to peacebuilding through a realistic and practical exit strategy.

Fourthly, strengthening the effectiveness of peacekeeping operations requires continuous improvements in scope and management. Nearly half of peacekeeping missions now comprise over 10,000 troops. Many missions are deployed in increasingly complex environments. An effective response to the resource and equipment challenges faced by the operations requires improved management and efficient use of resources. Through inter-mission cooperation and other means - including the rationalization of resource allocation in the light of developments on the ground and the timely adjustment of the scale and mandate of the mission - the Security Council, the troop-contributing countries and the Secretariat should strengthen their coordination and collaboration and work together to ensure the smooth deployment of peacekeeping operations and the implementation of their mandates.

The wider use of unmanned aerial vehicles and other advanced technologies in peacekeeping operations will require in-depth study and discussion by Member States on its legal implications and operational management.

Fifthly, great attention and support should be given to the important role of the African Union (AU) and other regional and subregional organizations in the maintenance of peace and security in Africa. Today, more than half of United Nations peacekeeping operations are deployed in Africa. The United Nations and the international community should increase their coordination and cooperation with African regional organizations in the field of peacekeeping operations, increase their support to the AU and other regional organizations so as to help Africa build its peacekeeping capabilities, and give full play to the advantages of theAU and other regional organizations in peacekeeping operations.

China is a firm supporter of and participant in United Nations peacekeeping operations, and we have over the years contributed a total over 20,000 peacekeepers. As the largest troop-contributing country among the permanent members of the Security Council, we have at present more than 2,000 peacekeepers serving in 10 peacekeeping operations. For the first time, we have deployed a security troop to the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali and are ready to raise the number of our troops deployed in the United Nations peacekeeping operation in South Sudan, thereby making a bigger contribution to the restoration of peace and stability in South Sudan in the nearest future.

China will continue its active participation in United Nations peacekeeping operations, and is ready to work with the international community in contributing to the further development of peacekeeping operations and the maintenance of international peace and security.

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