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Statement by Ambassador Wu Haitao at the General Debate of the 2020 Session of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations (C-34)

2020-02-18 04:48

Mr. Chairman, Thank you for presiding over today’s debate.

UN peacekeeping operations have made important contributions to the maintenance of international peace and security. At present, the deployment environment and mandates of peacekeeping operations have become increasingly complex and need to be continuously improved according to the situation. Over the past year, the international community has made progress in implementing the Secretary-General Guterres's "Action for Peacekeeping" initiative. However, we cannot rest on our laurels and should continue to work towards improving peacekeeping operations. I would like to make the following comments in this regard:

First, adhering to the basic principles of peacekeeping operations is a prerequisite. Peacekeeping operations should uphold the basic principles of " Consent of the parties; Impartiality; Non-use of force except in self-defence and defence of the mandate", which are in line with the basic norms governing international relations such as sovereign equality, non-interference in internal affairs and peaceful settlement of disputes. When promoting the reform of peacekeeping operations and implementing relevant initiatives, we should strictly follow the basic principles of peacekeeping operations and always adhere to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter.

Second, ensuring the safety of peacekeepers is the key. Peacekeeping operations, in the end, must be carried out by peacekeepers, therefore ensuring their security and safety is necessary for improving peacekeeping operations. At present, the security risks faced by peacekeeping operations and casualties among peacekeepers are on the rise. All parties should pay stronger attention to the safety of peacekeepers. The Secretariat and the missions should adopt integrated policies to improve early warning and response capacity, strengthen crisis management and rescue support systems, ensure that security equipment and measures are in place, and effectively strengthen medical rescue capacity.

Third, building strong partnership to provide support is vital. The UN Security Council, TCCs, PCCs and the Secretariat are the major players in peacekeeping operations. They should not only perform their respective duties, but also closely coordinate, strengthen communication and form synergies. The AU-led peace operations are commendable practice of African countries solving African problems in African ways, serving as an important supplement to the UN peacekeeping operations. The UN should strengthen all-round cooperative partnership with the AU in the field of peacekeeping and provide sustainable and predictable financial support to the AU-led peace operations.

Fourth, promoting political solutions is fundamental. The essence of UN peacekeeping operations is the support for the settlement of disputes through political means. We should focus on peacekeeping as the central task, formulate realistic and feasible mandates with clear objectives and priorities for peacekeeping missions, and regularly adjust priorities at all stages in light of the development of the political process. The ownership of the countries concerned should be respected and their opinions and suggestions be listened to, only by doing so can we better maintain the stability of the countries concerned and help them advance the political process.

Mr. Chairman,

China is an active participant in and an important contributor to the UN peacekeeping operations, China is also a major TCC and the second largest contributor to UN peacekeeping budget. Currently there are more than 2500 peacekeepers in nine mission areas which include Mali, DRC, South Sudan and Lebanon.

In September 2015, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced the establishment of the China-UN Peace and Development Fund at a summit celebrating the 70th anniversary of the UN. He made six commitments at the summit, which include the establishment of a 8,000-person peacekeeping standby force and the deployment of the first helicopter unit to UN peacekeeping operations in Africa. All commitments have been fulfilled to date.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the founding of the UN and the 30th anniversary of the Chinese military's participation in peacekeeping operations. China stands ready to work with all peace loving countries to improve peacekeeping operations and contribute to political solutions to hot spot issues.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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