China calls on UN to support capacity building in Africa

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By MINLU ZHANG at the United Nations | Global Chinese Daily | Updated: 2022-08-09 08:57

Zhang Jun, Permanent Representative of China to the UN. [Photo/Xinhua]

China’s ambassador to the United Nations on Monday called on the international body to ensure lasting peace in Africa and explore ways to support capacity building on the continent to address the challenges.

“China and Africa have always supported each other and shared their happiness and sorrows. Africa’s experiences and needs resonate with us as developing countries,” said Zhang Jun, permanent representative of China. at the United Nations, during the open debate of the United Nations Security Council entitled “Peace and security”. in Africa: Capacity Building for Peacekeeping”.

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

Monday’s open debate was one of the key events China plans to hold during its August presidency.

“Given China’s development experience, the experience of China-Africa cooperation and historical lessons from around the world, we believe that in order to help Africa achieve long-term stability, it is imperative to make sustained and increased investments, to have long-term thinking and to build a solid foundation for Africa to strengthen its own development capacity and improve its resilience to external shocks,” Zhang said.

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

Zhang said the international society should help African countries build their governance capacity. “To strengthen government capacity, we must maintain the right direction and respect the development path and social system independently chosen by their peoples.”

“There should be no political conditionality attached to aid, nor should there be any interference in the internal affairs of African countries, or to replace the role of local governments,” Zhang said.

It is important to help African countries improve the capacity of security sectors to carry out their functions, the ambassador said, adding that the international community should carry out comprehensive reviews of peacekeeping operations of the UN, reform practices that do not correspond to the situation on the ground, develop strong mandates and improve the performance of peacekeeping.

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

“African countries have expressed a strong wish that this unjust treatment will end, and the international community has an obligation to support them,” Zhang said. “Developed countries must honor their climate finance commitments as soon as possible and catch up with what they owe to Africa in history.

“We need to help African countries build a bigger pool of talent,” Zhang said. “The international community should help African countries to train more talents according to the urgent needs for reconstruction and social and economic development.”

Last year, President Xi Jinping proposed the Global Development Initiative (GDI), which focuses on pressing development challenges facing African countries, Zhang said.

“We are ready to actively promote the GDI and the results of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation by working with Africa,” he said.

Zhang chaired Monday’s public discussion.

Bankole Adeoye, African Union Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security; Special Adviser to the Secretary-General for Africa Cristina Duarte; and Chairman of the UN Peacebuilding Commission and Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the UN, Muhammad Abdul Muhith also spoke at the meeting.

Adeoye said capacity building is crucial to maintaining lasting peace in Africa. As the rotating presidency of the Security Council, China has offered to hold this meeting, which is important and timely.

Duarte expressed his appreciation for the China-UN Peace and Development Fund, which has “provided strong support for the peaceful development of African countries and related research projects.”

The African countries participating in the meeting said that it would help the international community to actively address the concerns of the African side and help Africa to improve its key capacities to maintain lasting peace and development, which fully reflects the firm China’s support for Africa.

Council members and representatives from Senegal, South Africa, Egypt, Ethiopia, Algeria, Morocco, Mozambique, Rwanda, Equatorial Guinea, Tunisia, Germany, Italy, Japan, Australia, Canada and the European Union also attended Monday’s meeting.

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