Wang Yi presides over the high-level meeting of the UN Security Council on “African Peace and Security”
On May 19, under the initiative of China, the rotating presidency of the United Nations Security Council this month, the Security Council held a high-level meeting on “African Peace and Security: Promoting Post-epidemic Reconstruction in Africa and Eliminating the Root Causes of Conflict” by video. The meeting was presided over by Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi. The foreign ministers of France, India, Tunisia, Ireland, Estonia, Vietnam and high-level representatives from Kenya, Norway, Russia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Niger, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines attended the meeting. United Nations Secretary-General Guterres, African Union Commission Chairman Faki, and United Nations Development Programme Administrator Steiner briefed the meeting.
Wang Yi said that the world is experiencing the worst pandemic of infectious diseases in a century. In the face of the epidemic, no country can become a paradise, nor should any country become an anti-epidemic depression. China proposes to hold this open debate of the Security Council. The purpose is to push the international community to pay attention to the severe challenges that the epidemic has brought to the peaceful development of Africa, build consensus and joint efforts, and work with African countries to overcome the epidemic, carry out post-epidemic reconstruction, and eliminate the root causes of conflicts. Inject new impetus into Africa’s lasting peace and sustainable development. Wang Yi made four suggestions on behalf of the Chinese side:
First, help Africa bridge the “anti-epidemic gap.” The international community should provide more assistance to Africa in terms of anti-epidemic materials, medicines, technology, and funds to ensure the availability and affordability of vaccines in Africa. China calls on all capable countries to urgently provide vaccines to Africa. It is necessary to effectively strengthen African public health capacity building, strengthen the prevention and control system, and build a human health community. The United Nations must play a leading and coordinating role.
Second, help Africa break the “peace deficit.” The United Nations and the African Union should work closely together to allow the two major initiatives of “a global ceasefire” and “eliminating gunfire in Africa” to go hand in hand. It is necessary to continue to support African countries to solve African problems in an African way and advance the process of political settlement and peaceful reconciliation. It is necessary to actively provide peacekeeping funds to Africa, support the African Union’s peace operations, and help Africa improve its capacity for independent peacekeeping, stability maintenance, and counter-terrorism. We must attach importance to the important role of economic growth and social construction in promoting peace, and work to eliminate the root causes of turbulence. It is necessary to resolutely oppose irrational interference by external forces in African countries and avoid more contradictions and conflicts.
Third, help Africa narrow the “development gap.” It is necessary to support Africa in exploring a development path that suits its own national conditions. Developed countries should take concrete measures in debt relief, development assistance, technology transfer, etc., and fulfill their due international responsibilities. Development partners should innovate their thinking, base themselves on reality, support Africa in accelerating the process of industrialization and modernization, and enhance Africa’s capacity for independent development and innovation. We should actively support the link between the industrial supply chain and Africa, and support the construction of African free trade zones. The United Nations and the African Union can strengthen coordination, so that the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 2063 Agenda will have an effect of one plus one greater than two in the docking.
Fourth, to help Africa correct “unfair governance.” Without paying attention to Africa’s peace and helping Africa’s development, the United Nations will be politically and morally untenable. Without the support of African countries and the participation of African countries, the affairs of the United Nations cannot be handled well. The realization of equal rights, equal opportunities and equal rules of all countries cannot be separated from the improvement of African countries’ representation and voice in international affairs. This is the true meaning of multilateralism.
Wang Yi said that China has always been a staunch supporter of Africa’s fight against the epidemic, an active participant in development and revitalization, and a powerful defender of peace and stability. In the face of the epidemic of the century, China and Africa are willing to jointly launch the “Support Africa Development Partnership Initiative”, calling on the international community to fight the epidemic, post-epidemic reconstruction, trade and investment, debt relief, food security, poverty alleviation, climate change, industrialization, etc. We will increase our support to Africa and invest resources in areas most urgently needed by Africa to help Africa overcome difficulties and move forward in great strides. China welcomes more countries and international organizations, especially traditional partners in Africa, to join this initiative, uphold the principle of “Africa-led, equal and open”, strengthen coordination and cooperation, practice true multilateralism, and gather strong synergies to support Africa’s development.
Wang Yi finally said that China is ready to work with African brothers through storms and hardships, work hand in hand with international partners, play an active role in promoting peace and security in Africa, and make unremitting efforts to build a community with a shared future for mankind.
All parties highly appreciate China’s initiative to convene a high-level meeting on peace and security in Africa, and believe that the current COVID-19 epidemic has a profound impact on the social development of African countries. The convening of this meeting under the auspices of China is important for helping Africa resolve practical difficulties and maintain social stability after the epidemic. The practical significance helps to build consensus and form a joint force. The biggest challenge facing Africa at present is the vaccine issue. The international community should give full play to their respective advantages, increase support for Africa, actively respond to African concerns, stop vaccine protectionism and nationalism, continue to provide Africa with anti-epidemic supplies, and help Africa obtain vaccines on an equal footing. The early realization of economic recovery will make more contributions to Africa’s early victory over the epidemic, elimination of the root causes of conflicts and the realization of sustainable development.
The meeting issued a Security Council presidential statement drafted by China.