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Statement by Ambassador Wu Haitao at the Security Council's Review of the Activities of UNOWAS

2020/01/08

Mr President,

China welcomes Estonia, Nigel, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Tunisia and Viet Nam as new members of the Security Council. We appreciate the work of the United States as President of the Council last December. We congratulate Viet Nam on presiding over the Council's work this month and pledge our support to your work.

We thank Special Representative Chambas for his briefing.

At present, West Africa and the Sahel enjoys overall political stability, sustained economic growth and marked successes in self-empowerment through unity. At the same time, some countries are still confronted with severe security threats, including violent extremist and terrorist activities, transnational organized crime and intercommunal conflicts. Such security risks have given rise to a grave humanitarian situation. The international community needs to increase its support and assistance for countries in West Africa and the Sahel. I wish to share the following thoughts:

First, to step up cooperation in a joint response to conflicts and challenges. As we speak now, certain regions and countries in Africa are still in the grip of unrelenting wars, conflicts and clashes. China supports African countries in resolving African issues in the African way and supports regional and sub-regional organizations in their good offices. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the G5 Sahel Joint Force, the Multinational Joint Task Force for combating Boko Haram, the Lake Chad Basin Commission, the Mano River Union and others have all conducted robust efforts to tackle regional challenges and made important contributions to international and regional peace and security. The international community must support the UN in securing necessary financial support to relevant regional efforts. Since its inception, the China-UN Peace and Development Trust Fund has provided funding support to a great number of peace and security programs in Africa.

Second, we must intensify efforts to more aggressively counter terrorist threats. This requires us to assist regional countries in beefing up their capacities in counter-terrorism and deradicalization and tackle more prominent issues such as the movement of foreign terrorist fighters, the diversification of terrorist financing and the collusion between terrorist organizations and organized crime. China has set up the China-Africa Peace and Security Fund in support of China-Africa cooperation in peace, security, peace-keeping and maintaining stability. The first consignment of aid materials worth 200 million RMB has arrived in Africa to support the development of the African Standby Force and the African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crises (ACIRC). In addition, we have provided 300 million RMB in aid to the counter-terrorism operations in the Sahel and the development of the G5 Sahel Joint Force.

Third, it is essential to accelerate development so as to eliminate the root causes of insecurity and instability, as extreme poverty and underdevelopment are the underlying causes. This entails efforts to stay fully behind regional efforts in economic and social development and to assist countries in the region in building up their governance capacity with more sufficient resources and means for governance. It is also important to invest more in Africa, enhance trade, and eliminate poverty in an all-out effort with a particular focus on creating educational and employment opportunities for the youth. China is actively engaged in assisting regional countries in their infrastructure development to increase connectivity. Moreover, efforts such as offering scholarships for study in China and establishing educational and training centers are underway to provide educational opportunities and vocational training to the vast number of African youth.

Mr President,

China supports greater coordination across all UN agencies to work in synergy. The UN country teams, UNDP and other entities should bring forth their respective strengths and increase coordination and cooperation with UNOWAS so as to jointly play a constructive part in regional peace and stability. China will continue to support the active work of Special Representative Chambas and his office.

Thank you, Mr President.

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