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Statement by Ambassador LIU Jieyi at the Security Council Open Debate on UN Peacekeeping Operations and Their Potential Contribution to the Overarching Goal of Sustaining Peace

2017-08-29 23:48

China wishes to thank Egypt for its initiative in convening this open debate. We also wish to thank Deputy Secretary-General Mohammed, Mr. Youssef Mahmoud and Ambassador Gert Rosenthal for their respective briefings.

The current international security situation is grave. Factors giving rise to conflicts in various parts of the world have become increasingly complex, with the interweaving of traditional and non-traditional security threats. Countries are closely interdependent, including with regard to their interactive, indivisible security interests. The fundamental way to maintain lasting peace and common security is to abide by the purposes and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, work together on building a community towards a shared future for humankind, promote a governance system featuring broad consultations, relying on joint efforts and shared benefits, and practice a new security concept that is common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable.

The United Nations is the central mechanism for the maintenance of common security. At different stages — including conflict-prevention, peacekeeping, peacebuilding and sustainable peace — the Organization has different priorities and focuses concerning those four aspects. However, efforts to achieve the overarching goal are interconnected and must be managed holistically.

First, conflict prevention must be aimed at maintaining peace and security, while targeted measures, based on the type of conflict and its root causes, must be taken. The most important consideration in resolving disputes between States is to adhere to the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and the basic norms governing international relations, while safeguarding the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of nations. The Council’s work must reflect those principles and include urging the parties concerned not to engage in words or deeds that may escalate tensions.

Many issues on the Security Council’s agenda concern countries’ internal conflicts. In addressing such internal issues, the Council must observe the principle that all countries are sovereign and equal, and that there must be no interference in a country’s internal affairs. The Council must also respect the will and leadership role of the countries concerned, provide them with constructive assistance to assist them in advancing the political process, and facilitate reconciliation based on the specific national conditions.

In areas plagued by protracted armed conflict, one finds a proliferation of terrorist activities, often with spillover effects. Conflict prevention and de-escalation are closely linked to efforts to counter terrorism. The international community must guard against potential terrorist attacks against the weak links in national or regional security mechanisms. In fighting terrorism, uniform standards must be used. The relevant Security Council resolutions must be strictly implemented and international cooperation in countering terrorism strengthened. In particular, the terrorists’ mobility networks and financing channels must be blocked. Efforts must be directed at preventing terrorist organizations from acquiring weapons and keeping violent extremist ideologies from propagating. The United Nations should support synergies forged among regional countries in their fight against terrorism, provide capacity-building assistance to developing countries through bilateral and multilateral channels and eradicate the root causes of conflict and terrorism.

Secondly, United Nations peacekeeping operations must strictly comply with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and the three principles governing peacekeeping operations, and formulate explicit, viable and focused mandates in keeping with the specific conditions of the countries concerned, while taking into full account the myriad factors affecting the needs and security environments of the host countries.

In order to improve the effectiveness of peacekeeping operations a periodic review mechanism should be established in order to ensure the continuing role that peacekeeping operations are expected to play with a view to ensuring the progress and ultimate fulfillment of their mandates. Peacekeeping operations should adjust dynamically in keeping with evolving needs, prioritize support in stages and focus on the central task of peacekeeping in an attempt to lend targeted assistance to efforts to resolve the most urgent and prominent problems facing the host countries.

Once peacekeeping operations are decided upon, the role that peacekeeping forces will play is key to executing the peacekeeping mandates. The United Nations must seriously consider the role of troop-contributing countries (TCCs), strengthen communications with them, support their capacity-building, improve the quality and equipment of peacekeeping personnel and enhance the ability of peacekeeping troops to fulfill their mandates and effectively deal with security threats.

Thirdly, peacebuilding must set an overall goal of strengthening political security and development capacity in order to promote the transition from a conflict situation to development and reconstruction. While countries differ in their specific conditions and development stages, many countries mired in conflict share a praiseworthy tradition of resolving differences and achieving consensus through consultations.

Peacebuilding work should respect the ownership of the countries concerned, advocate seeking common ground while resolving differences and the concept of democratic consultation, adapt to the prevailing conditions in host countries, optimize the tradition of cooperation among countries of the same region, promote social integration and consolidate the fruits of peace. The relevant United Nations agencies should strictly observe their respective mandates in carrying out peacekeeping activities and focus on strengthening the host countries’ ability to generate revenues, while concentrating on assisting them in resolving the most urgent problems.

Fourthly, sustainable peace and sustainable development are mutually reinforcing and dependent. Peace is not a castle in the sky, as it relies on development for its foundation. Only by giving equal attention to development and peace and by resolving conflict in terms of both symptoms and root causes will successful peace be assured. The United Nations must intensify its input in the field of development, comprehensively advance the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, vigorously help developing countries improve livelihoods and reduce the gap between the rich and the poor, while paying attention to the advantages of regional initiatives and regional organizations in efforts to form the synergies needed to lay the foundation for attaining sustainable peace by promoting sustainable development.

In supporting the economic development of countries, the United Nations should respect the social systems and development paths chosen by countries on their own, put itself in the shoes of host countries, understand their essential needs, solve their key problems, offer them substantial help in their concerted efforts to attain the goals of their domestic programs, and enable their people to effectively enjoy the dividends of peace.

In recent years, the African Union (AU) has vigorously promoted solidarity and unity among African countries in their quest for peace and development, and has made substantive progress in that regard. China hopes that the United Nations and the AU will fully implement the joint UN-AU Framework on Enhanced Partnership in Peace and Security so as to enhance cooperation in such areas as conflict prevention, crisis management and post-conflict reconstruction. China supports the positive consideration of the African proposal for financing AU-led peace operations, effectively helping Africans to secure sustained, stable and predictable funding.

China looks forward to the alignment of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with the AU Agenda 2063, in support of accelerated economic development, to address the root causes of conflict in Africa. China has always pursued an Africa policy characterized by sincerity, practicality, affinity, good faith, justice and shared interests. It supports African countries in seeking African solutions to African problems, and encourages the AU and other regional and subregional organizations to play an active role in finding solutions to regional problems.

China is firmly committed to United Nations peacekeeping operations. As the second-largest contributor to the United Nations peacekeeping budget, China has a total of 2,514 peacekeepers on active duty in nine mission areas. We are working at full capacity to fulfill the commitments made by Chinese leaders in support of United Nations peacekeeping operations and to advance the peace and security track of the 10 major China-Africa cooperation plans to enhance capacity-building for African-led peace operations. China will further enhance the effectiveness of the United Nations-China Peace and Development Trust Fund, giving momentum to the peace and development of developing countries, in particular those in Africa.

China stands ready to cooperate closely with African countries within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, supporting their social and economic development and helping them to achieve peace, stability and development at an early date. China looks forward to working with the international community to forge a new type of international relations featuring win-win cooperation and to promote a new security vision of universal security and common prosperity, thereby making positive contributions to the sustainable peace and development of the world community.

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