CHINA Chinese envoy calls for int'l efforts to help silence guns in Africa


Chinese envoy calls for int'l efforts to help silence guns in Africa


02:01, March 01, 2019


Chinese deputy ambassador to the UN Wu Haitao speaks at the Security Council, December 22, 2017, at the United Nations headquarters in New York City. (Photo: AP)  

A Chinese envoy on Wednesday called for international efforts to help silence the guns in Africa by 2020.

Over the past few years, the African Union (AU) and African countries have been vigorously implementing Agenda 2063 and the initiative of silencing the guns in Africa by 2020 alongside the steady improvement of the continent's peace and security situation, said Wu Haitao, China's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations.

At the same time, he said, some regions in Africa remain fragile, with traditional security threats intertwined with non-traditional ones and the presence of some prominent issues such as ethnic tensions, terrorism, transnational organized crime, poverty, unemployment, and refugees.

The regional collective security mechanisms in Africa are challenged with underfunding and other constraints. There are challenges to achieving the goal of silencing the guns in Africa by 2020.

In this context, Wu called for closer cooperation between the United Nations and the AU, the strengthening of Africa's capacity building in the areas of peace and security, and continued assistance for Africa's socio-economic development so as to address the root causes of conflicts in Africa.

The United Nations should fully leverage its own strength and provide more assistance to Africa, Wu told the UN Security Council in a debate on silencing the guns in Africa.

The two organizations should work more closely together in conflict prevention and mediation, in the quest for lasting peace, and in addressing the root causes of conflicts in Africa, he said, noting that the UN Security Council and the AU Peace and Security Council should further enhance communication and coordination between themselves.

Wu said China welcomes Wednesday's adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 2457 on silencing the guns in Africa, which can help the United Nations lend more support to the AU's initiative and bring the United Nations and the AU closer together in their joint endeavor.

He called for international support for Africa's capacity building in the areas of peace and security.

Home to the largest number of developing countries, Africa is the most dynamic continent with the greatest development potential in today's world. Peace and stability in Africa is key to security and development around the world, said Wu.

AU-led peace and security operations are becoming an important means of responding to crises in Africa, and are complementary to the UN peacekeeping operations in important ways, he said.

The United Nations should actively assist the AU and other regional and subregional organizations in bolstering their peacebuilding capacities and support African countries in resolving African issues in the African way, he said.

China supports the United Nations in providing sustainable and predictable financial support to the AU's peace and security operations, and in working with the AU to overcome funding issues concerning the AU's peace and security operations, he said.

Wu asked for international efforts to address the root causes of conflicts in Africa by scaling up assistance for Africa's socio-economic development.

International partners should increase their contributions to Africa in such priority areas as agriculture, health care, education, economics and trade, and connectivity and other infrastructure sectors, and actively help African countries achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, said Wu.

He also asked for efforts to help regional countries reduce poverty, develop the economy and improve people's livelihoods, and to help enhance the capacity of African countries in achieving sustainable development.

At the same time, he said, the international community must pay close attention to such issues as youth, women and children in Africa, refugees and employment.

He asked the international community to provide humanitarian assistance in line with the needs of the AU and African countries. The United Nations should provide constructive assistance by fully utilizing the UN Development Programme, the Peacebuilding Commission and other mechanisms, said Wu.

China has all along been supporting Africa's pursuit of peace, security, prosperity and development, and has stayed actively engaged in matters pertaining to Africa's peace and security, he said.

In 2015, China announced the establishment of the China-UN peace and development fund that covers a 10-year period with a total value of 1 billion US dollars. For more than three years, the fund has focused on Africa's peace and development and provided financial support to a great number of projects related to the initiative of silencing the guns in Africa, said Wu.

In September 2018 at the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, Chinese and African leaders agreed to define China-Africa peace and security cooperation as one of the eight cooperation priorities, he said. In addition, China will establish a China-Africa peace and security cooperation fund to encourage greater cooperation on peace and security, peacekeeping, and the maintenance of stability, he said.

China is ready to continue to play a constructive role in promoting peace, stability and development in Africa, said the Chinese envoy.

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