|Statement by Amb. Wang Guangya at the Open Debate of the Security Council on the Question of the Great Lakes Region
The Chinese delegation would like to thank Tanzania for taking the initiative to convene this public meeting on the situation of the Great Lakes Region. I'd like to welcome the presence of Your Excellency the Foreign Minister and thank you for personally presiding over this meeting. I wish to bid a warm welcome to the foreign ministers of Congo, the DRC, Namibia, Botswana, Rwanda, the Sudan, Burundi, Angola, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Uganda and Zambia, as well as the representative of the African Union, who have traveled from far away to attend this important meeting. I'd also like to welcome the foreign minister of Belgium, Commissioner of EU and special envoys of the Netherlands and Canada to participate in our discussion.
The situation in the Great Lakes Region over the past decade or so has witnessed a great deal of turbulence and conflicts, bringing a huge impact on the peace and security, economic development and social stability of that region and the African continent as a whole. In recent years, despite the continuation of disputes and conflicts in some areas and the constraint to the overall economic and social development, encouraging progress has been achieved as a result of the efforts of the countries and peoples of the region with the assistance of the international community. A common understanding has been shared among all sides that without the stability of the Great Lakes Region, there can be no peace in Africa and without the prosperity of the Great Lakes Region, renaissance of Africa cannot be realized. China supports the United Nations in addressing to the special needs of the Great Lakes Region and advocates that the Security Council put this question on top of its agenda and invest with more substantial inputs.
There is an old saying in Chinese: "With the united and determined will, mountains can be moved". The hard-working and ingenuous people of the Great Lakes Region long for a stable and prosperous life. This is the will, which in turn will yield the expected result. The Great Lakes Region is endowed with rich natural resources and now, with the development of the situation going in a positive direction, we are convinced that it won't be long before full peace will be restored and stable development achieved in the region.
China is of the view that in order to resolve the conflict in the Great Lakes region comprehensively, achieve national reconciliation and bring political transition to fruition so that the region would embark on the road to sustainable development, the following points require special attention:
Firstly, the will of the countries concerned must be fully respected. The positive developments in the Great Lakes region are inseparable from the will and efforts of the governments and peoples concerned. The advance of political transition in both DRC and Burundi is based on the widespread support of the people. Facts on the ground shows that without the political will of the countries concerned and the participation of the local people, there cannot be a lasting peace. In helping the countries in the Great Lakes region, the international community should heed the concerns and the propositions of the countries concerned.
Secondly, the comprehensive cooperation at the sub-regional level should be further strengthened. The interests of the countries in the Great Lakes region are closely linked. It is vitally important for the countries and the parties concerned in the region to seek a proper solution to the relevant issues through consultations and dialogue on the basis of mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity. All countries concerned should honor the commitments undertaken; restore stability throughout the Great Lakes region and good neighborly relations among each other in pursuit of peace, prosperity and development of the region as a whole. We hope that the second Summit of the International Conference for the Great Lakes Region would be convened soon and once again be crowned with success on producing a program of action for the promotion of peace, harmony, development and progress of the Great Lakes Region.
Thirdly, the assistance of the international community should be maintained and increased. The political process of the DRC is at a critical juncture. The preparations for the elections urgently need the support of the international community. In Burundi's transition towards post-conflict reconstruction, international assistance remains essential. We hope that the international community and other African regions would continue to render active support to the DRC for its DDR program and the election process, and help consolidate peace in Burundi. It remains as a testing task for us to support the unremitting efforts made by these two countries in striving for peace and stability and economic reconstruction. China wholeheartedly supports the continued important role of the UN in this regard. The Security Council should give positive consideration and take actions to all reasonable requests of the countries in the Great Lakes Region. We hope that the newly established Peace Building Commission also lists the post-conflict reconstruction of the Great Lakes Region as a priority for its work.
Being a genuine friend of all countries of the Great Lakes Region, China has always paid great attention to the development of the situation of that region. We have made practical efforts in promoting the peace processes of the DRC and Burundi, actively participated in the UN peace keeping operations and provided bilateral assistance within our capabilities to the economic and social development of the two countries. We are ready to continue and reinforce comprehensive cooperation with countries of the Great Lakes Region and play a positive role in promoting the early realization of lasting peace and prosperity of the region.
Finally, the Chinese delegation supports the draft resolution prepared by Tanzania and would like to thank the mission of Tanzania for its diligent work in this regard. We believe that the adoption of this resolution will produce a positive influence on the efforts aimed at promoting the stability and development of the Great Lakes Region.
Thank you, Madam President.