Opening a New Chapter of UN Peacekeeping to Honor Our Shared Commitments to Peace
– Remarks at the High-Level Meeting on Action for Peacekeeping
H.E. Wang Yi, State Councilor and Foreign Minister of the People’s Republic of China
New York, 25 September 2018
Mr. Secretary General,
Seven decades ago, responding to the call of the times, the United Nations (UN) began to deploy peacekeeping operations. Since then, UN peacekeeping has evolved with the times. In view of the latest developments and challenges, Secretary General António Guterres has launched Action for Peacekeeping (A4P), a commendable initiative. China supports the Declaration of Shared Commitments on UN Peacekeeping Operations in the hope that it will reinforce the political commitments of Member States to strengthen and improve UN peacekeeping. The key to more effective peacekeeping operations, in China’s view, lies in the following:
First, the UN Charter. It is the cornerstone of peacekeeping operations. The principles of sovereignty equality, non-intervention in domestic matters, and peaceful settlement of disputes are enshrined in the UN Charter. These principles, together with the need to secure the consent of the parties, must be adhered to at all times.
Second, political solutions. The ultimate goal of UN peacekeeping is to facilitate the settlement of disputes by political means. The primacy of politics should be reflected in every aspect of the peacekeeping operations.
Third, mandate by the Security Council. This is what the peacekeeping operations are based on and where improvements are called for. The mandate must be achievable and focused, as sweeping and unrealistic mandate would be counter-productive. Member States must provide peacekeeping operations with adequate resources in a timely fashion to match their mandate. Efforts must also be made to monitor and improve efficiency in the use of resources.
Fourth, peacebuilding. It is the natural next step of peacekeeping. While striving to bring security and stability, peacekeepers should also contribute to local capacity-building, thus laying the foundation for poverty alleviation, sustainable development and enduring peace in the host country.
Fifth, strong partnership. This is what underpins the success of every peacekeeping operation. Greater synergy must be developed between host countries, troop- and police-contributors and financial contributors. The African Union’s independent peace mission is a laudable effort to seek African solutions to African issues. China supports the UN in providing sustained and predictable funding assistance to this effort.
Mr. Secretary General,
China is both a firm supporter and an active contributor to UN peacekeeping operations. To date, China has sent 37,000 military and police officers to UN peacekeeping operations. Twenty-one of them have made the ultimate sacrifice in their line of duty.
In 2015, President Xi Jinping announced important steps at the UN Peacekeeping Summit. They have now been turned into a reality. An 8,000-strong peacekeeping standby force and a standby peacekeeping police force have been set up and are ready to go. China has deployed its first helicopter squad to UN peacekeeping operations in Africa. China is providing training for UN and national peacekeepers. Through the China-UN Peace and Development Fund, China is financing programs aiming to strengthen peacekeepers’ safety and enhance the peacekeeping capacity of African countries. The results speak for themselves.
Mr. Secretary General, UN peacekeeping is at a new starting point. China stands ready to work with all peace-loving nations to see that the light of peace shines upon every corner of the globe.
Mr. Secretary General, thank you.
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