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President Xi Jinping's Special Representative Wang Yi Attends a UN Security Council High-Level Video Conference on Cooperation between the United Nations and the African Union

2020-12-05

On December 4, 2020, Special Representative of President Xi Jinping, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi attended the United Nations Security Council High-level Debate on cooperation between the United Nations and the African Union (AU) via video link, and delivered a speech entitled "Building Consensus for Solidarity and Cooperation and Working Together for a Peaceful and Prosperous Africa".

Wang Yi said the COVID-19 pandemic has evolved into and exacerbated the global crises, exerting profound political, economic and social impacts on African countries, and posing a litany of new challenges to peace and security of the continent. The United Nations is duty-bound to take active measures to help Africa weather the storm.

China proposes that efforts be made in the following four areas:

First, focusing on a united fight against COVID-19 to help bolster the African people's health and safety defenses. We need to mobilize global resources to support the African Union's Africa Joint Continental Strategy for COVID-19 Outbreak, actively promote the accessibility and affordability of COVID-19 vaccines in African countries, and break the transport bottlenecks in Africa to ensure last mile delivery of supplies, medicines and vaccines so that vulnerable groups and people in impoverished and far-flung areas can receive timely and effective medical treatment. We should support Africa's efforts to build stronger public health prevention and control systems and better preparedness against major infectious diseases, with a view to building a global community of health for all.

Second, working toward the goal of "Silencing the Guns" to help restore peace and stability for the African people. Without stability in Africa, world peace would remain elusive. It is thus important that the UN and the AU work closely together to advance the AU's "Silencing the Guns in Africa" initiative and Secretary-General Guterres's appeal for a global ceasefire, and to encourage warring parties to focus on the pandemic, beat swords into plowshares and stop fighting and violence. We should strengthen cooperation to prevent and mediate conflicts and achieve enduring peace, help Africa by enhancing its independent capabilities on peacekeeping, stability and counter-terrorism, and support sustainable and predictable financing for the AU's peace and security operations.

Third, delivering on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to help bring broad prosperity to the African people. We should prioritize poverty eradication, work more closely in areas including agriculture, education, health and infrastructure, and support the African Continental Free Trade Area, mitigate the economic fallout from COVID-19 and improve people's well-being. Developed countries should take more concrete steps on Official Development Assistance, debt relief and technological transfer. International financial institutions need to channel more resources and projects to Africa, as an investment in the future of humankind.

Fourth, promoting fairness and justice to help the African people benefit from the progress of global governance. The global governance system needs to be improved and updated to mitigate inequalities in rights, opportunities and rules. The UN must do more to meet Africa's needs and accommodate its interests in rules-making, resource allocation and staffing. The representation and voice of African countries should be raised. The African people must be involved as equal participants and important contributors to global governance. When handling Africa-related issues, we need to respect the will of the African people, enlist the AU and other regional and sub-regional organizations in Africa, and encourage and support Africa's own initiatives and solutions.

Wang Yi said China stands as a true friend of African countries and a partner with common purpose. Guided by the principle of sincerity, real results, amity and good faith, China has put the greater good of African countries above its own interests. We are always ready to play a part as the African people pursue the great dream of development and rejuvenation of their continent. To support Africa's COVID-19 response, an Extraordinary China-Africa Summit on Solidarity Against COVID-19 has been held under President Xi Jinping's initiative. The participating leaders of China and Africa have decided to strengthen solidarity and work in unity to defeat the virus. China has sent teams of medical experts or professionals to African countries, and has shipped emergency supplies to almost all countries on the continent. To uphold Africa's peace and security, China is following through on its pledged free military assistance to the AU and the Joint Force of the G5 for the Sahel, and has sent Chinese peacekeepers in the UN peacekeeping operations in Africa. To promote Africa's prosperity and development, China has worked with Africa to formulate and implement the ten cooperation plans and the eight major initiatives. China and Africa have been stepping up cooperation in emerging areas such as the digital economy, smart cities, clean energy and 5G. The two sides are also pursuing high-quality Belt and Road cooperation.

Wang Yi said China will continue to give its best support to the African people in their pursuit of peace, extend a helping hand when African countries are moving toward modernization, and continue to speak up for Africa on the international stage. China is prepared to be a partner of Africa and jointly build an even stronger China-Africa community with a shared future.

The meeting was initiated by South Africa, the rotating presidency of the UN Security Council for December. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, leaders and representatives of UN Security Council member states and some African countries, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Chairman of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat and other officials attended the meeting. All parties agreed that it is of vital importance to uphold multilateralism and strengthen cooperation between the UN and the AU. The UN should pay more attention to and invest more in Africa and support African countries in solving African issues in an African way, so as to better respond to the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic, safeguard peace and security, and achieve sustainable development.

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