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Statement by Ambassador MA Zhaoxu at the Security Council Briefing on Peace and Security in Africa

2018/03/22

Mr. President, China commends the initiative you have taken as President of the Security Council to convene today's open meeting. We thank Deputy SecretaryGeneral Amina Mohammed, Mr. Mohammed Bila, representative of the Lake Chad Basin Commission, and Ms. Chitra Nagarajan, Senior Conflict Adviser of Adelphi, for their briefings.

In recent years we have seen African countries standing united and making concerted efforts to strengthen themselves, finding African solutions to African issues and developing more robust collective security mechanisms for the region. They have thereby not only strongly defended Africa's peace and security but have also contributed significantly to international peace and security. China applauds those efforts.

Meanwhile, Africa continues to face challenges to peace and security. In certain regions, including the Lake Chad basin, terrorist and violent extremist activities are still rampant. Transnational organized crimes such as drug smuggling and human trafficking continue to endanger the safety of the African people. As a result, the countries affected are suffering the effects of sluggish economic growth, along with persistent serious unemployment, poverty and refugee issues. It is therefore imperative that the international community take concrete measures to help Africa build its capacity to ensure peace and security.

First, the international community must firmly support Africa in its fight against the terrorist threats. Counter-terrorism in Africa is an integral part of the global counter-terrorism effort. The international community must uphold common counter-terrorism standards and support Africa's anti-terrorism efforts. The United Nations must provide tangible assistance to African countries in their anti-terrorism capacitybuilding so that their counter-terrorism efforts are more effective. China commends the fact that the countries of the Lake Chad basin and the Sahel have assumed ownership of the issue and have been working jointly for peace by actively combating regional terrorist threats. While maintaining respect for the sovereignty and wishes of host countries, the United Nations and the international community should provide targeted assistance to countries of the region in areas such as technology, training, equipment, logistics and financial support.

Secondly, we should give Africa effective assistance in addressing the root causes of conflict. The continent's hotspot issues are a mass of intertwined national, ethnic, religious and social issues. African countries have two big jobs to do — maintaining peace and security, on the one hand, and promoting revitalization and development, on the other, and to do that they must address both the root causes and the symptoms. While it is important to resolve the ongoing peace and security challenges, it is even more important to address their root causes from a long-term perspective. This means in particular that support and assistance should be provided to African countries, including those in the Lake Chad basin, in their efforts to reduce poverty and increase employment, with the aim of improving economic and social development levels, delivering a tangible peace dividend to their peoples, and rooting out breeding grounds of conflict and extremism.

Thirdly, we should give full play to the unique role of regional organizations. The African Union (AU) and other regional and subregional organizations in Africa have an intimate knowledge of regional and national realities and have long been mediating complex regional hotspot issues, leveraging their unique geographic, historical and cultural advantages. It is therefore important to ensure that the international community fully respects African countries' ownership in resolving their own security concerns, deepens coordination with countries in the Lake Chad basin and regional and subregional organizations such as the AU, the Economic Community of West African States and the Lake Chad Basin Commission, and enhances cooperation with them in areas such as conflict prevention, crisis management and post-conflict reconstruction.

China and Africa are a community with a shared future, as well as a community of shared interests and win-win cooperation. Strengthening solidarity and cooperation with African countries remains a key foundation of China's foreign policy. As a good friend, brother and partner of the continent, China will continue to act on the principles of sincerity, practical results, affinity and good faith that guide China's Africa policy, as well as on the values of friendship, justice and shared interests, both articulated by President Xi Jinping, and it will firmly support Africa's peace and development efforts. In September, China will host a Beijing summit forum on China-Africa cooperation, focusing on China and Africa's joint efforts to build the Belt and Road Initiative and on the China-Africa Community of a Shared Future. We will work hard to ensure that the Belt and Road Initiative is aligned with the development strategies of African countries, the AU's Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, so as to create greater benefits for the peoples of Africa and bring peace, stability and development to the African continent as soon as possible.

Last but not least, I would like to stress that as always, China will continue to stand together with all the developing countries of Africa. We will always be sincere friends and reliable partners of Africa.

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