Remarks by Ambassador Zhang Jun at Security Council Open Debate on Challenges of Maintaining Peace and Security in Fragile Contexts
6 December, 2021
China congratulates Tunisia on assuming the Presidency of the Council in January and welcomes President Saied and Prime Minister Mechichi to preside over today’s meeting. I also wish to thank Secretary-General Guterres, Chairman Faki Mahamat of the AU Commission, and former President Sirleaf of Liberia for the important briefings.
The year 2020 has just ended as an extraordinary year during which the spread of COVID-19 triggered a global crisis, exposing fragilities at national and global levels. The pandemic, together with unilateralism, climate change, food insecurity, cross-border crime, terrorist activities, and other factors reinforced each other, posing unprecedented challenges to world peace and development, with African countries bearing the brunt.
Through this turbulent year, we have felt more deeply than ever that all countries are interdependent and share weal and woe, and believe more firmly than ever in the importance of multilateralism and cooperation to meeting the challenges. There are more reasons than ever to support the United Nations in playing an important role in maintaining international peace and security and achieving common development. In connection with today’s topic, I would like to elaborate on the following three points.
First, we should strengthen our confidence and work together to fight the pandemic. The global pandemic is surging in a new wave. Combating the pandemic in unity is the top priority for the international community. All countries should put people and their lives first, respect science, join hands to advance international anti-epidemic cooperation, and strengthen joint prevention and control in order to eliminate the impact of the pandemic as soon as possible.
We must promote the implementation of the Security Council resolution 2532 and Secretary General’s global ceasefire appeal, and strengthen mediation efforts and political settlement to create favorable political and security environment for countries’ response to the pandemic.
We must continue to provide anti-epidemic assistance to countries and regions in need and make sure that vaccines are distributed equitably as a global public good to the benefit of developing countries in particular.
In this global public health crisis, China has actively participated in and supported the global response to the pandemic by launching the unprecedented, largest humanitarian operation, providing anti-epidemic assistance to more than 150 countries and ten international organizations, sending teams of medical experts to 16 African countries, and establishing cooperation mechanisms with counterpart hospitals in 42 African countries. The African CDC Headquarters construction project assisted by China has started. China is the first to promise to make the vaccine a global public good, and will earnestly honor its commitment by making contributions to enabling developing countries to have access to affordable vaccines.
Second, we should increase input to enhance development resilience. Underdevelopment is the root cause of many problems, especially in the countries and regions in conflict. Increasing investment in the field of development to strengthen economic and social weak links is a fundamental way to eliminate various risk factors, lay a solid foundation for peace, and achieve long-term stability.
Currently, the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is encountering new major hurdles, with the developing countries facing numerous difficulties, threatening to further widen the gap between the North and the South. The international community should have a greater sense of urgency to tackle development issues and advance the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in a comprehensive, balanced, and vigorous manner. Greater attention should be paid to work in the field of peacebuilding to support post conflict countries in formulating independent development strategies, strengthening government capacity, building social consensus, and taking a path of sustainable development that matches their national conditions. The focus should be on poverty eradication to prevent a major reversal of the progress in global poverty reduction. It is necessary to support developing countries in putting more development resources into education, health and infrastructure construction, among others, promoting economic and social rebuilding and enhancing sustainable development capacity.
Climate change is a development issue after all. China will tackle climate change with firm resolve and a responsible attitude, striving to peak its carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. We hope that all countries including all members of the Security Council, especially the developed countries, will also take concrete actions to jointly promote the implementation of the Paris Agreement.
Third, we should uphold multilateralism and leverage the important role of the United Nations. The UN embodies the yearning and determination of the people of the world to help each other in solidarity and jointly build a better future. In the face of increasingly complex and severe global challenges, no country can work alone. Achieving better unity and progress under the banner of the UN is our only choice to deal with various uncertainties and vulnerabilities in search of solutions.
We must reaffirm our commitment to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, firmly safeguard the international system with the UN at the center, maintain the international order underpinned by international law, fulfill our obligations as member states, strengthen capacity building in the UN and other international institutions, and support the UN in playing its central coordinating role in international affairs.
We must promote the strengthening and improvement of the global governance system, adhere to the principle of extensive consultation and joint contribution for shared benefits, respond to traditional and non-traditional security threats in an integrated manner, and give more prominence to new challenges such as public health and climate change on the international agenda in search of more equitable, effective, and lasting solutions.
The Security Council shoulders the primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security. Under the new situation, it must step up its efforts to promote the political settlement process, increase its good offices and mediation, and better fulfill its responsibilities under the Charter. We need to pay more attention to African issues by increasing input in Africa and supporting the efforts of the African Union and African countries to achieve peace. In the face of various multifaceted security risks and challenges, the Security Council, the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council, the Peacebuilding Commission, and relevant regional organizations should perform their respective functions, strengthen collaboration, and forge synergy.
Peace and security are the eternal aspirations of mankind and tasks full of complex challenges. China is ready to work with other countries to hold high the banner of multilateralism and make joint efforts to build a peaceful, prosperous, and beautiful planet, our common home.
Thank you, Mr. President.