Chinese envoy calls for lifting UN Security Council sanctions on certain African countries

(Xinhua) 10:11, July 29, 2023

UNITED NATIONS, July 28 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese envoy on Friday called on the UN Security Council to lift sanctions against certain African countries so as to improve their capacity for the protection of civilians.

Host countries of UN peacekeeping operations shoulder the primary responsibility for the protection of civilians. UN peacekeeping operations should actively support host countries in tackling security challenges and developing greater capacity for the protection of civilians, said Geng Shuang, China's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations.

The Security Council sanctions have seriously hampered the ability of certain African countries to fulfill their responsibility to protect civilians. These sanctions should be lifted as soon as possible, he told a Security Council meeting on UN peacekeeping that was focused on the protection of civilians.

The international community should intensify partnerships with Africa and support African countries in steadily improving their self-reliant peacekeeping capacity, he added.

The civilian protection mandate in UN peacekeeping operations is part of the overall framework and should be considered as such. The civilian protection mandate should be coordinated with other mandates and implemented in a balanced manner so that all the mandates serve the purpose of helping bring about a political solution, said Geng.

In recent years, the unbridled proliferation of peacekeeping mandates has aggravated the pre-existing strains on resources and capacity, impinging on missions' ability to implement their civilian protection mandate properly, he warned.

"It is necessary to strengthen conflict prevention and optimize early-warning arrangements so that security risks can be detected and dealt with as early as possible. It is necessary to develop systematic and holistic plans of action, and improve the capacity of situation awareness to enable swift response. The vulnerabilities of special groups, such as women and children, should be taken into full account and protection afforded to them should be more robust and tailored," said Geng.

"We cannot rely on the military approach alone to effectively implement the civilian protection mandate. Peacekeeping operations need to focus more on engagement and dialogue to create a secure environment," he said.

UN peacekeepers are facing growing security risks. All stakeholders, including the UN Secretariat, peacekeeping missions, troop-contributing countries and host countries, should put in solid efforts to ensure the safety and security of peacekeepers, he said.

China is a builder and defender of world peace, a participant in and contributor to UN peacekeeping operations. China will continue to support, promote and participate in UN peacekeeping operations and make greater contributions to the maintenance of international peace and security, said Geng. 

(Web editor: Chang Sha, Liang Jun)


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