|Statement by H.E. Ambassador LIU Zhenmin on Prevention and Resolution of Conflicts at the Open Debate of the Security Council|
|28 August 2007|
The Chinese delegation welcomes the initiative of the delegation of the Republic of Congo and should like to thank the Congolese delegation for convening this open debate of the Security Council on prevention and resolution of conflicts, in particular, conflicts in Africa.
The Security Council bears the primary responsibility to maintain international peace and security. An effective implementation of this noble mandate hinges on the trust and support of all Member States of the United Nations, the coordination and cooperation of regional and sub-regional organizations as well as its own persistent efforts to explore new solutions. The Chinese delegation would like to make the following four points on the topic before the Council today.
Firstly, greater importance should be attached to preventative diplomacy. As was rightly pointed out in the letter addressed by the delegation of Congo to the Secretary General on August 14, 2007, although the Security Council has underscored its determination on many occasions to enhance the effectiveness of the United Nations efforts to prevent armed conflicts and to develop an effective comprehensive strategy on conflict prevention, the progress of the work in this area is less satisfactory, the main reason being that the tendency towards conflict resolution rather than prevention is yet to be effectively redressed. In the past five years, the United Nations has spent more than $18 billion on peacekeeping operations. If more effective efforts had been carried out in the area of conflict prevention, much less would have been spent, and many more lives would have been saved from the scourge of conflicts. It is, therefore, important to be fully committed to putting all those ideas about conflict prevention to practice.
Secondly, more reform and ingenuity should be encouraged. Since its inception 60 years ago, the United Nations has made unremitting efforts and acknowledged achievements in the field of conflict prevention and resolution. Nevertheless, in face of various natures and forms of armed conflicts today, the Council should be adapted to the changing circumstances and come up with solutions more suitable to the current situations. While dealing with domestic conflicts of a country, it is essential to bring into full play the active role of the government of the country concerned, and the overall objective of the Council in this exercise is to help the national government to establish social stability. In case of a sudden crisis, it is all the more important for the Council's action to be attuned to the background and environment that shape the crisis and to intervene in a timely manner so as to effectively resolve the crisis. Special attention should be paid to dealing with both the problems on the surface and their root causes by taking integrated approaches addressing the economic and social root causes of the conflict. All the armed conflicts on the continent of Africa result from a multitude of causes, most of which are related to poverty and underdevelopment. Only by addressing the deeply rooted causes leading to conflicts, can it be possible to gradually emerge from playing only a passive role of firefighters and to gain more leverage in the endeavor to prevent conflicts, thus improving the effectiveness of the UN peacekeeping efforts.
Thirdly, coordination and cooperation with regional and sub-regional organizations should be significantly enhanced. It is widely acknowledged that, in recent years, African Union has played an ever more important role in coping with the conflicts in African region on behalf of the international community and made invaluable contributions to maintaining world peace and security. As an embodiment of the will of African countries to achieve unity and self-reliance, African Union is endowed with a unique political, moral and geographical advantage in handling conflict prevention and resolution in Africa. The Security Council should continue to strengthen its cooperation with African Union and its Peace and Security Council, fully utilizing its regional early warning mechanism and peacekeeping capacity, and provide various assistance to African Union, helping it strengthen its capacity building. At present, matters relating to Africa account for over 60 per cent of the issues on the regular agenda of the Security Council dealing with regional hotspot problems. As a matter of fact, in providing assistance to African Union and sub-regional organizations in Africa, the Council is actually improving its own capacity to handle international affairs in general. The Council should attach greater importance to its work in this area.
Lastly, more efforts must be made to fully utilize the system-wide resources of the United Nations and give full play to the good offices of the Secretary General. Multiple-track approaches are needed to prevent and resolve conflicts through addressing problems in political, security, economic and social fields. Given their respective expertise and vast experience within their own fields, The Security Council, ECOSOC, and Peacebuilding Commission should set an example to the international community by enhancing their communication and exchanges, learning from one another to make up one's own shortfalls with a view to making concerted efforts. The Secretary General and his representatives' efforts to actively participate in resolving regional conflicts through their international good offices have yielded noticeable results. In doing so, they have benefited, to a great extent, from the trust and support from the Security Council. In the future, The Council should continue to support, through various ways and means, the Secretary General's role in this area.