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China calls for comprehensive strategy to address challenges in Sahel


08:21, December 11, 2012

UNITED NATIONS, Dec. 10 (Xinhua) -- A China UN ambassador Monday urged the international community to formulate a comprehensive strategy to deal with the complex challenges facing the Sahel region.

Li Baodong, China's permanent representative to the UN, made the statement at an open debate of the Security Council on the situation in the Sahel region, where UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon, his Special Envoy for the region, former Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi and other high-level UN officials made their briefings.

"The various problems existed in the Sahel region are inter- linked and affect each other," said Li. "Therefore, a holistic and integrated approach is called for."

"We hope the secretary-general will, based on the request of the Security Council, broadly seek the views of the regional countries and relevant organizations and come up as soon as possible with a comprehensive UN strategy for the Sahel with a clear-defined objective and practical measures," he said.

Li noted that the key to realize the lasting peace and development in the Sahel region lies in tackling the fundamental problems, which include poverty and lack of development.

"The international community, particularly the donor countries and international financial institutions, should enhance their funding and technical assistance to the countries in the region taking the achievement of the social and economic development as priority " Li said.

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