|Explanation of Vote by Ambassador Dai Bing on the UN Security Council Resolution on the Sanctions against the Central African Republic
At the outset, I would like to welcome Madam Sylvie Baïpo-Témon, Foreign Minister of the Central African Republic, to today's meeting.
China abstained in the vote on the draft resolution just adopted by the Council on the issue of sanctions against the CAR. We welcome the fact that this resolution substantially adjusts the arms embargo against the CAR Government in response to strong requests of the CAR Government, and relevant members of the council. At the same time, we believe that there are still a number of restrictive measures in the resolution which may pose unnecessary obstacles to the CAR Government's defense capacity building. There is still room for improvement until the sanctions are completely lifted.
The Security Council has imposed a comprehensive arms embargo on the CAR since 2013. And the relevant measures have played an important role in containing the deterioration of the situation in the CAR and controlling the proliferation of arms at that time. In recent years, along with the positive progress of the political process of the country and the continuous improvement of the security situation, the arms embargo measures have become increasingly incompatible with the development of the situation, not only failing to prevent the rebels from acquiring weapons, but also constraining the government from strengthening its security capacity building.
The Government of the CAR has repeatedly called for the lifting of arms embargo, and has received positive responses from regional countries. The recent summit of the ECCAS and the meeting of the AU Peace and Security Council on Central Africa have both supported the lifting of the arms embargo on the country. The International Conference on the Great Lakes Region has also clearly expressed its support. Over the past few years, China and the relevant Council members have continued to call on the Council to lift the arms embargo on the country and to push the Council to gradually relax the embargo measures.
We see that under the resolution just adopted, the CAR Government no longer needs the approval of the Security Council sanctions committee in the future, demonstrating the respect of the government’s ownership in the security field. We believe that the CAR Government will take this opportunity to strengthen its security capacity building, improve the management of arms and ammunition, and lay a solid foundation for the long-term peace and security of the country.
Over the past 20 years or so, the Council’s sanctions mechanisms have tended to expand, causing a negative impact on the humanity and livelihood of the people, which cannot be ignored, and increasingly interfering with economic and social activities of ordinary people in the country. In recent years, African countries such as Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia and the DRC have proposed the lifting of arms embargoes and other sanctions, arguing that these measures have had a negative impact on their ability to enhance their security. Their reasonable demands have won broad support by African countries, but they still face considerable resistance in the Security Council. Council sanctions and arms embargos should be indefinite. The Council should pay attention to the legitimate concerns and demands of African countries, and on the basis of this adjustment of the arms sanctions, to act with the utmost urgency to launch a comprehensive review of existing sanctions mechanisms and to adjust in a timely manner those sanctions that do not meet the needs of the situation.
Thank you, Mr. President.