|Statement by Ambassador WU Haitao at the Security Council Debate on the Great Lakes Region|
I wish to thank the United States for convening this meeting, and the Special Envoy to the Great Lakes Region, Mr. Djinnit, for his briefing. China will continue to actively support his work.
The Great Lakes Region lies at the heart of the African continent and the countries of the region share the same destiny, with interconnected interests. China appreciates the efforts of the countries of the region to actively implement the Peace, Security and Cooperation (PSC) Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Region and promote peace and stability in the region. At the same time, the countries of the region face numerous challenges in terms of addressing the threats posed by armed groups and attaining sustainable development. They need the assistance and support of the international community. I will emphasize the following four points.
First, we must continue to energetically implement the PSC Framework. China encourages the countries of the region to respect one another’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, build up political trust, strengthen good neighborly relations and solve their differences through dialogue and consultations. We hope that the international community will, on the basis of respect for the sovereignty and opinion of the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, help the country to implement political agreements, deepen the reform of the security sector, strengthen governance in the eastern areas of the country, promote national reconciliation and work to attain peace and stability in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the region.
Secondly, we must strengthen the security cooperation among countries of the region. China welcomes the cooperation among those countries in addressing the threats posed by armed groups. We encourage those countries to actively implement the Nairobi Declarations and expedite the repatriation of exM23 combatants. We hope that the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo will, in accordance with its mandate from the Security Council , play an active role in helping the Forces armées de la République démocratique du Congo to fight armed groups.
Thirdly, we must promote the economic development of the region. Poverty and underdevelopment are two of the fundamental causes behind the incessant conflicts of the Great Lakes Region. China calls upon the international community to increase its investment in countries of the region in the fields of agriculture, energy, infrastructure, communications and tourism, and promote the economic integration and interconnectedness among those countries, so that those countries can share the dividends of peace. We hope that the relevant donors will honor their assistance commitments and lend strong support to the countries of the region for their economic development and the improvement of peoples’ livelihoods.
Fourthly, we must give full play to the role of regional and subregional organizations. The African Union, the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region and the East African Community enjoy unique advantages in solving the question of Burundi, the question of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and other questions. All of those organizations have played important roles. China supports Africa in solving African problems in African ways. We support African regional and subregional organizations as they continue to promote the political settlement of regional hotspot issues through dialogue, mediation and good offices. We hope that the United Nations will strengthen its coordination with other African regional and subregional organizations so as to create synergies.
China has consistently supported the countries of the Great Lakes Region in their efforts to promote the peace process. On many occasions, China has dispatched its Special Representative for African Affairs to countries of the region for mediation. China participates actively in the peacekeeping operations of the United Nations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, while helping regional and subregional organizations to maintain peace in the region. We stand ready to work with the international community and will continue to play a constructive role in achieving peace and stability and promoting development in the Great Lakes Region.