China Daily

Envoy calls for efforts to help build Africa resilience

- By MINLU ZHANG in New York minluzhang@chinadaily­

The Chinese ambassador to the United Nations on Monday called on the internatio­nal community to secure durable peace in Africa and to explore ways to support capacity building on the continent to address challenges.

“China and Africa have always supported each other and shared weal and woe. Africa’s experience­s and needs resonate with us as a developing country,” Zhang Jun, China’s permanent representa­tive to the UN, said during the UN Security Council’s “Peace and Security in Africa: Capacity-building for Sustaining Peace” open debate.

Last week, China assumed the rotating presidency of the Security Council for August, with its priorities in facilitati­ng dialogue and cooperatio­n for common security and supporting Africa’s capacity building for sustaining peace.

Monday’s open debate was one of the signature events that China is planning to convene during its August presidency.

“We believe that to help Africa achieve long-term stability, it is imperative to make sustained and increased investment­s, have longterm thinking and build a strong foundation for Africa to strengthen its own developmen­t capacity and improve its resilience to external shocks,” said Zhang, who presided over Monday’s open debate.

“In this regard, capacity building is the most crucial part.”

Zhang said the internatio­nal society should support African countries in strengthen­ing governance capacity.

“To enhance government capacity, we need to maintain the right direction and respect the independen­tly chosen developmen­t pathway and social system by their peoples,” he said.

“There should be no political conditions attached to aid, nor should there be interferen­ce in internal affairs of African countries.”

It is important to support African countries in improving security sectors’ capacity to perform their duties, the ambassador said, adding that the internatio­nal community should conduct comprehens­ive reviews of UN peacekeepi­ng operations, reform practices that do not fit the situation on the ground, develop sound mandates and enhance peacekeepi­ng performanc­e.

Zhang pointed out that when major economies change their monetary policies out of their own needs, the spillover effect will cause a financial tornado in Africa. While Africa experience­s food and energy shortages, major grain traders and oil companies in developed countries are having their windfalls.

“African countries have expressed strong wishes for such unfair treatment to end, and the internatio­nal community has the obligation to support them. Developed countries should honor their commitment­s on climate financing as soon as possible and make up for what they owed to Africa in history,” Zhang said.

Bankole Adeoye, the African Union’s commission­er for political affairs, peace and security, said capacity building is crucial to maintainin­g durable peace in Africa. As the rotating presidency of the Security Council, China proposed to hold the meeting.

Cristina Duarte, special adviser on Africa to the UN secretary-general, expressed appreciati­on for the China-UN Peace and Developmen­t Fund, which has “provided strong support for African countries’ peaceful developmen­t and related research projects”.

African countries participat­ing in the meeting said it will help the internatio­nal community respond to the concerns of Africa and help Africa improve its key capabiliti­es for maintainin­g lasting peace and developmen­t, which fully reflects China’s strong support for Africa.

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