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Statement by Ambassador MA Zhaoxu at the Security Council Debate on Afghanistan

2018/03/08

Madam President,

I would like to welcome you to New York, Ms. Sigrid Kaag, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and thank you for presiding over today’s open debate. Today marks International Women’s Day. I would like to extend to you, Madam President, and the other female colleagues present my greetings for the holiday.

On this special occasion, we must remember the female Blue Helmets who are serving the peacekeeping cause around the world. When Chinese people strive for a better life, women hold up half of the sky. Chinese women are contributing to safeguarding world peace and security. At this very moment, in Juba, South Sudan, 14 Chinese female peacekeepers are working hard in the infantry, under the leadership of their team leader Ms. YU Peijie, to fulfill their responsibilities of protecting women and children. I would like to take this opportunity to convey to them and all female peacekeepers my highest regards.

I would like to thank Mr. Yamamoto for his briefing and thank Ms. Sarabi and Ms. Safi for their presentations. China listened attentively to the statement made by the representative of Afghanistan.

Peace and stability in Afghanistan have a direct bearing on the well-being of the Afghan people, as well as on security, stability and prosperity in the region. The international community should continue to provide firm support to Afghanistan to respond to challenges in the political, economic and security fields. As a traditionally friendly neighbour of Afghanistan, China supports the country in achieving peace, security, stability and development at an early date. Afghanistan is an important country on the route of the Belt and Road Initiative. Resolution 2405 (2018), which was just adopted by the Council, once again pointed out that all parties should take advantage of the Belt and Road Initiative to promote economic development and regional cooperation in Afghanistan and help Afghanistan achieve stability and prosperity and should make concerted efforts to create a community of shared future for mankind through dialogue and coordination. In accordance with the provisions set out in the relevant Council resolutions, China will continue to work with all parties to help Afghanistan leverage its comparative advantages, participate in regional economic cooperation and connectivity and achieve economic and social development.

Advancing national reconciliation is the fundamental way to resolve the question of Afghanistan. China strongly supports an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process and reconciliation. We commend the Afghan Government for its efforts to promote peace talks, and support the Afghan Government in unveiling its reconciliation plan as soon as possible, reaching agreement on national reconciliation with armed rebel groups, including the Taliban, and launching the peace process.

China actively participated in the second meeting of the Kabul Process in February. We will continue to make unremitting efforts to push forward the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan. We stand ready to join the international community to create a favourable external environment for peace talks between the Afghanistan Government and the Taliban and contribute to achieving lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan.

Improving the security situation serves as a basis for achieving stability in Afghanistan. China supports the country in strengthening capacity-building in the security sector. We have taken an active part in regional counter-terrorism cooperation. In November 2017, China, Afghanistan and Pakistan held trilateral vice-ministerial consultations on countering terrorism and security. We are now consulting on a trilateral Memorandum of Understanding on Counter-Terrorism Cooperation. In December 2017, China hosted the 1st China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue. We are ready to continue to take advantage of mechanisms such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization - Afghanistan contact group, and strengthen counterterrorism communication and cooperation with countries of the region, including Afghanistan and Pakistan, to jointly address threats from terrorism and safeguard regional peace and stability.

Madam President,

China commends the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) on its work and supports its positive role in helping Afghanistan to promote political process, safeguard national security, foster economic development, and enhance its governance capacity. We also supports UNAMA in providing support to the upcoming Afghan parliamentary and district council elections. China will continue to support UNAMA and Special Representative Yamamoto in their efforts.

Thank you, Madam President.

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