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Remarks by Ambassador Zhang Jun at at Security Council Open VTC on maintenance of international peace and security: Security sector reform

(From Chinese Mission to the United Nations)

2020/12/03

Madam President,

The Chinese delegation supports South Africa in calling for this important meeting. I welcome Foreign Minister Pandor for chairing the meeting and thank ASG Ms Bintou Keita, Mr. ASG Alexandre Zouev and African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security Mr. Smail Chergui for their briefings.

Professional, efficient and fully functional security sectors are the centerpieces of countries' governance systems.

In many post conflict countries, security sector reform is an integral part of consolidating and building peace and an important foundation for achieving lasting peace and sustainable development.

In recent years, UN peace operations and peacebuilding programs in DRC, South Sudan and Liberia, etc. have served to support security sector reform of countries concerned and mobilize more assistance of the international community, and maintained close coordination with regional organizations. Good results have been achieved.

Meanwhile, the international and regional security environment is undergoing profound changes, with incessant regional conflicts and the COVID-19 pandemic that makes post conflict reconstruction even more difficult.

In this context, there are still many things to be done for security sector reform in post conflict countries.

I would like to emphasize the following:

First, maintaining national security is countries' sovereign right, and security sector reform should be owned and led by countries concerned.

The United Nations and the international community should fully respect the intentions of countries concerned and provide assistance according to countries' priorities.

Country-specific strategies should be formulated based on differing national conditions and circumstances, and priorities and focus should be identified.

Second, it is the security sectors' responsibility to maintain national security and protect civilians. Therefore, improving their capacity is a most pressing priority for security sector reform.

Post conflict countries face security threats such as terrorism, violent extremism, and intercommunal conflicts, new risks such as cybersecurity and transnational organized crime.

Security sectors of post conflict countries should conduct reform to raise capacities of early warning, emergency response, counter terrorism and surveillance of risks and challenges. This includes using high and new technologies to improve the security and defense systems.

Post conflict countries face severe challenges posed by criminal activities of foreign forces stationed on their territories. It is utmost important to strengthen the rule of law to bring criminals to justice and eliminate extrajudicial behavior.

Third, security sector reform is an important aspect of post conflict reconstruction.

Overall development strategy should be drawn up to promote coordinated progress in security sector reform and economic and legal system reforms.

Post conflict reconstruction and development resources should be used in a balanced and wise manner to both ensure necessary spending for security sector and scale up input to development, vigorously alleviate poverty and promote sustainable development, so as to eradicate the breeding ground of conflicts.

A good job should be done for DDR of former combatants, and conditions should be created for economic growth and social recovery through security sector reform.

Fourth, security sector reform is a systematic project which requires coordination and synergy of multiple players.

The Peacebuilding Commission and the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations of the UN General Assembly are important platforms for discussions on issues related to security sector reform.

UNPKOs, Missions and country teams should play active roles in accordance with their mandates to assist countries concerned in advancing reforms.

The AU and other regional and sub-regional organizations have made tremendous efforts in helping post conflict countries conduct security sector reform and accumulated much experience.

The United Nations should strengthen coordination and cooperation with regional and sub-regional organizations through information exchange, experience sharing and training, etc.

There exist big gaps of funding for security sector reform in post conflict countries. It is necessary for bilateral and multilateral partners to provide active assistance and increase transparency and coordination to ensure sufficient and sustained financial resources for security sector reform.​​​​

Thank you, Madam President.

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