Remarks by Ambassador Zhang Jun at the UN Security Council Briefing on Cooperation between the UN and the African Union

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October 12, 2023

Mr. President,

I thank Special Representative Parfait Onanga-Anyanga and Ambassador Fatima Kyari Mohammed for their briefings. I have listened carefully to the statement by Mr. Solomon Ayele Dersso.

In recent years, as a champion of multilateralism and solidarity among developing countries, the African Union has been leading African countries forward along the path of development, revitalization, and integration. We are pleased to see that there have been stepped up efforts to build the continental FTA, the African Union formally have joined the G20, the first climate summit was convened in Africa, and Ethiopia and Egypt have joined the BRICS cooperation mechanism. All these are a testament to Africa’s growing global influence as an important pole in the world.

Last week, the Council visited Addis Ababa, where it held its annual consultations with AUPSC. These consultations produced a series of new ideas and recommendations, giving new impetus to cooperation between the United Nations and the African Union. In the face of the complex and intertwined global challenges,the United Nations, the African Union, and other subregional organizations in Africa must strengthen their solidarity and cooperation and build a strong partnership.

First, we must build a partnership on an equal footing with mutual exchanges and mutual learning. In recent years, the African Union and all the subregional organizations have been actively engaged in addressing peace and security challenges and promoting the approach of African solutions to African problems. In northern Mozambique, through joint operations, the government forces and the SADC have cleaned up local terrorist forces and restored the peace and stability. The African Union and subregional peacekeeping operations have focused on pragmatic and efficient operations, and have achieved remarkable remarkable results, which have been widely recognized.

In the face of global and regional challenges, the Council should continue to support the African Union in utilizing its advantages and amplifying its role. The United Nations peacekeeping operations should learn from AU’s useful practices, adapt to the changing situation on the ground, and play its due role. The United Nations and the African Union enjoy an equal relationship of cooperation and as such there is no hierarchy in terms of leadership or command. The so-called standard should not be imposed on Africa in the name of the United Nations. And such interference in Africa’s internal affairs is not conducive to cooperation between the African Union and the United Nations.

Second, we must build a partnership of mutual support and shared responsibility. The negative impact caused by long-lasting legacy of colonialism and hegemony on peace and stability in Africa is far from over, while global crises and geopolitical conflicts have brought new harm to Africa. The international community should prioritize the maintenance of international peace and stability in Africa. The United Nations should focus on responding to the concerns of the African Union, while certain developed countries should assume greater responsibility, so as to pay their historical debt as soon as possible, rather than shifting blames or just remaining doing nothing.

African countries have devoted themselves to AU Peace Support Operations and for this have called on the international community to provide predictable and sustainable funding. Traditional developed country donors should maintain their strong level of support, and the United Nations should push for substantial progress on resolving relevant issues without delay. The DRC, Somalia, South Sudan, and the Sahel are seriously underfunded in terms of humanitarian operations. Therefore, parties concerned should fulfill their humanitarian commitments timely and fully. At the first African climate summit, African countries collectively demanded that developed countries honor their commitments on climate financing, which have been delayed for 14 years. The Council has a role to play in urging the political commitments to Africa be effectively translated into concrete actions.

Third, we must build a partnership anchored in the fundamentals that focuses on the long-term. At present, the complexity and intractability of the hotspot issues in the Horn of Africa, the recurring political turmoil in West Africa and Sahel countries, and the rampant and violent terrorist activities in the Great Lake and Lake Chad region have all contributed to a situation of recurring conflicts that deserve our in-depth consideration. The international community should help the countries concerned strengthen capacity building in such areas as governance, security sector reform, sustainable development, and human resources development. The UN should lend vigorous support to Africa’s implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, And do more to eradicate poverty, guarantee food security, strengthen infrastructure development, and increase employment.

China has provided support to Africa’s capacity building, which is an important element of its cooperation with Africa. We are committed to helping Africa achieve industrialization, modernization,and sustainable development. In Nigeria, Lekki seaport built by a Chinese company has officially started operation, facilitating local shipping channels and creating hundreds of thousands of jobs. In the DRC, the construction of Kinsuka substation and the transmission lines is being stepped up, which is expected to address power shortage in the local transmission area. In more than 10 countries including Ghana and Djibouti, Luban workshops are training and cultivating a large number of young talents for the local community, which benefits local development. In the capital of Ethiopia, the African Center for Disease Control and Prevention, which was built with China’s assistance, has been formally completed, making new contributions to the prevention and treatment of diseases in Africa and the protection of people’s health in Africa.

President Xi Jinping, while attending the China-Africa Leaders’ Dialogue in South Africa in August this year, announced the three initiatives, namely the Africa’s industrialization initiative, the agricultural modernization plan, and the talent development cooperation plan. These initiatives will give new impetus to Africa’s integration process and modernization. Next year, China will host a new session of the Forum on China Africa Cooperation. China will take this opportunity to continue to play an active role in realizing peaceful development in Africa and in increasing international cooperation with Africa.

Thank you, Mr. President.


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