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Remarks by Ambassador Zhang Jun at the High-level Open Debate on the Theme "Maintenance of International Peace and Security: Security in the Context of Terrorism and Climate Change"

2021-12-09 12:00

Mr. President,

I thank Niger for its initiative to convene this open debate, and welcome

President Mohamed Bazoum as he presides over this meeting. I also thank Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat and Executive Secretary Mamman Nuhu for their very illuminating briefings for today’s discussion.

Peace and security represent constant yet ever-new themes for mankind. At present, factors of uncertainty and instability are increasingly considerably around the world. Terrorism, infectious diseases and other non-conventional security threats continue to rise, compounding traditional security issues and inflicting many countries, in particular African countries. Lasting peace and stability is the fervent aspiration of African people, as well as the responsibility of the international community, in particular, the Security Council.

China has always been a staunch supporter of, a constructive participant of, and an active contributor to the cause of peace and security in Africa. Over 80% of Chinese peacekeepers are deployed in Africa. We have sent a total of over 30,000 peacekeepers to 17 UN peacekeeping missions in Africa. At the recent 8th ministerial meeting of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, China and Africa jointly formulated China-Africa cooperation vision 2035 and decided to launch nine projects, which include the project of peace and security. China will deliver ten projects in the field of peace and security for Africa, continue our military assistance to the African Union, support African countries’ efforts to preserve regional peace and security and counter-terrorism by themselves, and carry out cooperation in joint and on-side training of China-Africa, peacekeeping force and SALW management and control. On the road to peace and security, China will always walk side by side with our African brothers. 

Mr. President,

In recent years, terrorism has presented major real threats to Africa, in particular the Sahel. Facing the challenges, the Sahel G5 have united to enhance the capacity and deepen their counter-terrorism cooperation, and played an important role in maintaining regional security with some gains, to which China expresses its greater appreciation. We strongly condemn the recent terrorist attacks in Fantio Community of Niger and several other areas in Mali, and express our deepest condolences to the soldiers of Niger, peacekeepers of Togo, Egypt and other countries, and to the Malian civilians. China endorses the continued joint counter-terrorism, cooperation by Niger and the countries in the region, supports the sustainable and predictable funding to the joint force of the G5, and calls on the international community to provide more help in logistics and capacity building.

In the long term, military approach alone is not sufficient to fundamentally eliminate the security threats in in the Sahel. Efforts need to be made to address the roots of conflicts. The international community should help African countries address the multiple difficulties such as economic problems, food security, and tribal tensions, eliminate the breeding ground for terrorism, continue to support the regional countries in housing and security capacity building, provide a security protection to the grassroots population, and ensure that civilian facilities such as schools and hospitals are protected from conflicts. The UN can make use of its own advantages to help countries’ concerned protect the rights and interests of women, children and the vulnerable, so that they can fully enjoy the development fruits, and the impact and infiltration of extremist thoughts are cut off.

Mr. President,

Climate change presents a grave challenge to the sustainable development of Africa. In recent years, the AU has adopted a series of measures to respond to climate change. The AU Peace and Security Council adopted a specific communique on March 9 this year, addressing topics such as mitigation and adaptation, and more capacity building, and focusing on real challenges such as water shortage, illegal trade of fauna and flora and the climate friendly infrastructures. The communique proposed many targeted responses, including the establishment of an AU special climate change fund. Like other developing countries, Africa lacks funding, technology and the capabilities the most. We support even stronger attention and support to Africa’s response to climate change under the UNFCCC. We align ourselves with the comment made by the Secretary-General just now. We call on developed countries to effectively fulfill their historical responsibilities and honor their commitments on climate financing, technology transfer and capacity building, so that the commitments will be turned into practical actions. Climate change has inflicted serious impact on the countries in the Sahel and complicated the solution to the conflicts in the region. We call on the Security Council to take the perspective of peace and security in accordance with its own mandates, and take situation-based approach in their in-depth analysis of the impact of climate change on Sahel, country by country and the situation by situation, so as to have an accurate understanding of the mechanism of security risks driven by climate, and study practical and viable solutions. In this context, principles of common but differentiated responsibility, equity and respective capabilities must be respected. We should provide funding and technological support necessary to those countries to address climate change. We supported further consultations on this by the members of the Council and unity in our actions.

China attaches great importance to climate change, and has always actively participated international cooperation, playing a responsible and constructive role. We have made important contributions to the success of COP26 in Glasgow. As an active supporter of African countries in the climate response, China has signed 15 cooperation papers with 14 African countries to operationalize the mitigation and adaptation projects and jointly combat the smuggling of wildlife. The recent 8th ministerial meeting of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation adopted Declaration on China-Africa Cooperation on Combating Climate Change, with new blueprint and practical initiatives. In next three years, China and Africa will jointly implement the green development project. China will provide assistance to Africa in 10 environmentally friendly, green and climate projects and support the construction of Africa Green Great Wall, and the building of demonstration zones of low carbon and climate adaptation in Africa. In terms of support to Africa, China has always been in action, and China will continue to make contributions to peace and development Africa with practical actions.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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