China leads UN debate on African security

By Amy He at the United Nations | China Daily USA | Updated: 2017-07-20 10:37

China leads UN debate on African security

Acting head of Security Council says Africa well-being affects entire world

Promoting peace and security on the African continent is in the "interest of the entire international community", along with addressing the underlying causes of conflicts in various African hot spots, said China's permanent representative to the United Nations.

"Africa is still confronted with multiple challenges in the areas of peace and security. Some countries of the region are still plagued by ongoing conflicts or political instability," Liu Jieyi said on Wednesday during an open debate at the UN Security Council on enhancing African capacities in peace and security.

"In the face of these difficulties, Africa is not fully equipped with the tasks of conflict prevention and resolution and maintenance of peace and security, and [African Union] peace operations are constrained by inadequacies in financial resources, equipment, technology and management systems," Liu said.

He said that "the international community must vigorously help Africa solve their difficulties and support Africa in its capacity-building in areas of peace and security".

The African Union (AU) and the UN in April signed a framework to strengthen their partnership that addresses how to better respond to challenges that peace operations face in the AU.

Called the Joint UN-AU Framework for Enhancing Partnership on Peace and Security, it boosts coordination on all levels of peacekeeping, human rights and sustainable development.

Liu said that the UN and the AU need to continuously improve coordination, support peace operations conducted by the AU, support Africa in addressing the root causes of conflict, and strengthen UN peacekeeping operations on the continent.

"African hot spots involve complex, national, ethnic, religious and social tensions. It is therefore necessarily important to address both the symptoms and the root causes, while giving attention to the current problems of peace and security," Liu said. "We need to work to eliminate the source of these problems, particularly to support Africa in accelerating development and reducing poverty, thus eliminating the breeding grounds of conflicts and extremism," Liu said.

Antnio Guterres, secretary-general of the UN, said that the AU and the UN have a shared interest in defusing conflicts before they escalate and to manage them effectively when they occur.

"Enhancing African capacities is essential both in the context of our collective response to international peace and security challenges as well as for the self-reliance of the African continent," he said.

Smal Chergui, commissioner for peace and security for the AU, said that "conflict-prevention remains the most cost-effective conflict management tools, but yet the least resourced".

Similarly, the United Kingdom's Ambassador to the UN, Matthew Rycroft, said that too much time and money are spent on responding to crises rather than preventing them, and that the UK supports an agenda that focuses on conflict-prevention.

Mankeur Ndiaye, minister of foreign affairs of Senegal, said that his country's delegation welcomes the strengthening of the partnership between the UN and the AU on peace and security. Ndiaye said that strengthening African capabilities in this area must be approached "as part of a discussion on how to intensify cooperation, which links the UN to the African Union and its regional economic communities".



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