Home Meetings & Statements Events & Activities China & UN Documents About China 中文
  Home > Meetings & Statements
Remarks by Ambassador Zhang Jun at Security Council High-Level Virtual Debate on Cooperation between the UN and AU

2021-10-28 12:57

Mr. President,

I wish to welcome His Excellency President Kenyatta for presiding over today's meeting and thank Deputy Secretary-General Amina and High Representative of the AU Peace Fund Kaberuka for the briefings. I welcome His Excellency President Akufo-Addo for attending the meeting. 

The UN and AU are close partners. Against the backdrop of dramatic changes in the political, economic and social landscape in the world and in African countries, and the new challenges they face, the UN and AU need to strengthen their cooperation more than ever. Kenya's initiative to hold this high-level meeting provides an important opportunity for us to explore ways and means by which the UN and AU adapt to the new situation, and thereby better maintain peace and security in Africa. At present, the two sides should carry out in-depth cooperation in the following aspects.

First, we need to help Africa overcome the pandemic at an early date. This was the common voice of African leaders during this year's GA general debate. WHO estimates that nearly 6 million doses of vaccines have been given globally, of which Africa accounts only for 2%. To meet the 40% vaccination target by the end of the year, there is a gap of up to 500 million doses. We call on developed countries to stop overstocking vaccines, increase aid to Africa, and achieve universal access to safe and affordable vaccines in that continent at an early date. We need to push for IP rights exemptions for developing countries, including Africa, to localize production of vaccines. This is the key to helping Africa overcome COVID-19 and respond to any new pandemics in the future. Since the outbreak, China has provided anti-COVID supplies throughout Africa. China-produced COVID-19 vaccines have reached more than 40 countries in Africa. China-assisted headquarters of the African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are under expedited construction. China-backed vaccine production facility in Egypt has been officially put into operation. China will continue to work with Africa to help it win the final victory against the pandemic.

Second, we need to assist Africa in solving the outstanding peace and security problems it faces. The AU and sub-regional organizations have geographical, historical and cultural advantages, and can play a unique role in addressing hotspot issues in Africa. The peace operations conducted by the AU and sub-regional organizations in Somalia, the Sahel and other regions to actively address security challenges are important practices in seeking African solutions to African problems. The UN needs to encourage its international partners to increase their support to secure predictable and sustainable sources of funding for their independent peace operations. Terrorist forces such as ISIS show a tendency to spread in Africa. We encourage increased UN support for African countries to improve their independent counter-terrorism capabilities. Mali, Sudan, among others, have recently seen new developments. The AU and relevant African sub-regional organizations have been actively facilitating de-escalation of the situation on the ground, playing a significant role. They deserve the Council’s continuing support and coordination. This Council and the AU’s PSC will hold annual consultations in December, and we need to make good use of this mechanism to deepen engagement and inject new impetus into peace and security in Africa.

Third, we need to focus on addressing the root causes of conflict in Africa. The COVID-19 outbreak has brought special challenges to Africa's economic recovery. Post pandemic reconstruction is an opportunity to promote inclusive development and address the root causes of conflict. The UN Secretary-General recently submitted a report on “Our Common Agenda”, recommending that peace building be strengthened with a focus on crisis and conflict prevention. We hope that the report’s follow-up will focus on supporting peacebuilding efforts in Africa and mobilize additional resources to help resolve the practical difficulties of African countries. Emphasis should be placed on helping Africa, particularly post-conflict countries, to strengthen government capacity building, enhance governance capacity, promote sustainable development, and foster social inclusion and cohesion. The UN development agencies will strongly support Africa in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and do more in areas such as poverty eradication, food security, infrastructure development, regional interconnectivity, education and employment.

Fourth, we need to support Africa’s strength in unity. The colonial era was long over, but the legacy of colonialism is far from resolved and still having a negative impact on Africa's prosperity and stability. Africa has a tradition of independence and the AU is the banner of Africa's unity and self reliance. We need to respect the sovereignty and leadership of African countries and support African countries in exploring and following development paths well suited to their national conditions. African countries are in the best position to tell how Africa's problems should be solved and how Africa be governed. China stands opposed to interference in the internal affairs, the imposition of governance models, the incitement of contradictions or divisions among African countries, the practice of attaching a political string to aid, and the attempt to use Africa to seek political self interest. Such practices have no market and therefore won't work in Africa. October 25 has been designated by SADC as the Anti-Sanctions Day. China's support African countries in their call for justice, and calls on the countries concerned to lift unilateral sanctions against Zimbabwe, Sudan, among others.

Mr. President,

China has always been a good friend, brother and partner of Africa. China has always maintained that the UN and this Council should strengthen dialogue and coordination with the AU, prioritize support for the AU and African countries, and incorporate it into their daily work. The China-UN Peace and Development Fund has been actively supporting Africa in implementing projects in areas such as peacekeeping capacity building, countering terrorism and violent extremism, and conflict prevention, and achieved positive results. In November, the eighth session of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation will be held in Senegal. China will take this as an opportunity to play a greater role in helping Africa achieve peace and stability and post-COVID recovery, and in promoting greater support from the international community to Africa.

I thank you, Mr. President.

Suggest to a friend