Envoy calls for efforts to help build Africa resilience
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.