Remarks by Ambassador Dai Bing at Security Council VTC Briefing on Cooperation Between the United Nations and the League of Arab States
18 January 2021
China thanks Tunisia for convening this important meeting and welcomes H.E. Minister Jerandi and thanks him for presiding over the meeting. I would also like to thank USG DiCarlo and Secretary-General Gheit for their briefings. I welcome the presence of Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of the UAE.
China stands for strengthened cooperation between the UN and the League of Arab States in accordance with Chapter VIII of the UN Charter, in order to better maintain peace and security at regional and international levels. Over the decades, the UN and the Arab League have adopted multiple documents to scale up mutual cooperation. Last November, at the 75th session of the UN General Assembly, a resolution on strengthening UN-Arab League cooperation was adopted by consensus, demonstrating the significance of the cooperation to all UN Member States. Under the current circumstances, the international community, this Council and the Arab League included, needs cooperation more than ever to address challenges. In this connection, I would like to make the following comments and proposals on the cooperation between this Council and the Arab League.
First, we must push forward the appeal for global ceasefire and stabilize the security situation in the Middle East. Protracted conflicts in the Middle East have brought untold sufferings to the region. With COVID-19 still spreading, many countries in the region are facing insufficient capacity and resources in testing, quarantine and medical treatment. All countries share a common destiny. Therefore, our top priority is to achieve ceasefire, stop the violence, stay united to combat the pandemic and save lives. The Council has adopted a resolution in support of the Secretary-General’s appeal for global ceasefire. It is our hope that the UN agencies, relevant special envoys and special representatives of the Secretary-General will enhance coordination with the Arab League to de-escalate conflicts, protect civilians and civilian infrastructure and advance humanitarian relief efforts. At the same time, we must prevent terrorists from taking advantage of the current situation and moving within and outside the Middle East and North Africa.
Second, we must seek political settlement to hotspot issues through dialogue and consultation. Many issues of the Middle East and North Africa are intertwined, the solution to which can not be found overnight. The countries and people in the region are yearning for peace. The international community must therefore stay united, pursue the overarching goal of political settlement, remain committed to dialogue and consultation and manage the situation constructively. The Arab League, with its advantage in geography, history, religion and culture, can play a unique role in conflict prevention, good offices and mediation, among others. Parties to conflict must show mutual respect, seek common ground and shelve differences, so as to build mutual understanding and trust. On Libya, Sudan, Syria and other hotspot issues in the Middle East, the respective special envoys or special representatives of the Secretary-General can increase communication with the Secretariat of the Arab League and brief the Council.
Third, we must leverage multilateralism and build a dialogue platform for regional security. State Councilor and Foreign Minister of China Mr. Wang Yi has proposed to set up a multilateral dialogue platform for the Gulf region, under the principle of upholding the JCPOA. China stands ready to discuss it with like-minded countries, in order to forge new consensus on regional peace and stability. Such work must be in conformity with the principle of respecting national sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity, and the norms of rule of law, good neighborliness, justice and impartiality. China opposes the use or threat of force in international relations, and opposes external interference, power politics and bullying. No country shall create conflicts or turmoil for the sake of selfish geopolitical interests. China looks forward to a positive role by the UN liaison office to the Arab League in establishing a dialogue platform on regional security.
Fourth, we must eradicate the root causes of conflicts and promote peace through development. A major root cause for instability lies in underdevelopment, while the ultimate solution lies in sustainable development. Poverty eradication was the theme of the 14th sectoral meeting between the UN and the Arab League and their specialized agencies. In the resolution adopted at the 75th session of the General Assembly, Member States are asked to help Arab countries with poverty eradication and economic recovery. China fully concurs with these ideas. The economic reconstruction in the relevant countries should be encouraged and supported, with the pandemic effectively controlled. The international community must support Arab countries in exploring a development path that fits their national conditions, establishing mutually beneficial and win-win partnerships and achieving socioeconomic progress.
China-Arab friendship is long, deep and solid. Cherishing the role of the Arab League, China stands for the Arab response coordinated by the Arab League to overcome difficulties and challenges and achieve stability and development. Last July, the ninth Ministerial Conference of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum was successfully held. President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory message to the conference, noting that in the face of COVID-19, China and Arab states have stood firmly together and demonstrated great solidarity through mutual support and close cooperation. This is a vivid example of how we pursue our shared future. Both sides are committed to further consolidating the China-Arab community with a shared future. China will continue to join hands with Arab countries in deepening the Belt & Road cooperation, supporting each other in national development and rejuvenation, fostering concrete cooperation in combating the pandemic and in other areas, and building a future of peace, security and common prosperity.
Thank you, Mr. President.