Remarks by Ambassador Zhang Jun at the UN Security Council Briefing on the Peacebuilding Commission
27 July 2022
First, I thank Ambassador Abdelkhalek and Mr. Hossain for the briefings. I appreciate Egypt and Bangladesh for their outstanding work and important role serving as the chair of the Peacekeeping Commission for 2021 and 2022 respectively.
Thirty years ago, the then UN Secretary-General Boutros-Ghali first put forward the concept of peacebuilding in his report entitled “An Agenda for Peace”. 30 years since then, peacebuilding today has become an important instrument for the UN for eliminating the root causes of conflict and achieving sustained peace. Currently, with greater uncertainty and instability in the international landscape, countries in conflict or post-conflict settings face greater challenges in achieving long-term security and stability. The UN and the international community should therefore make greater investment, step up overall planning and coordination, and further tap into the important role of peacebuilding. China has the following points of view in this regard.
First, we should stick to the ownership of the countries concerned. The key for post-conflict countries to achieve sustained peace and development lies in their own efforts. The international community should respect the sovereignty and ownership of post-conflict countries, and provide constructive assistance in line with their will and request. National conditions vary greatly among post-conflict countries and even evolve within the same country as it goes through different stages. The international community should support the countries concerned in exploring development paths that fit their own national conditions and engage in peacebuilding in a targeted manner, aligned with the priorities of the said countries.
Second, development should always be put first. Peacebuilding is all-encompassing and may incorporate a variety of areas and dimensions. For the absolute majority of countries in conflict or post-conflict settings, however, their biggest challenges are developing the economy and improving people’s livelihood. We are of the view that peacebuilding should always be development-oriented, with resources primarily invested in poverty eradication, universal access to education and public health, among others. Support for countries in conflict or post-conflict settings in achieving the SDGs and cultivating a homegrown development drive is conducive to consolidating the foundation for peace. In the Sahel region, military means alone cannot fundamentally eliminate terrorism, and should instead be complemented with active efforts on development and job creation, which help to remove the breeding grounds for terrorism and thus addresses both symptoms and root causes.
Third, we should focus on capacity building. A lack of capacity is a major obstacle to achieving sustained peace for countries in conflict or post-conflict settings. The UN and the international community should help the countries concerned, especially their governments, enhance their capacity for governance, sustainable development, maintenance of common security, as well as their resilience. Unilateral sanctions impede the socioeconomic development of the countries concerned, undermine their capacity in coping with risks and challenges, and thus must be lifted fully and unconditionally.
Fourth, financing for peacebuilding requires a comprehensive approach. China supports the provision of adequate and predictable financial support to peacebuilding in multiple ways. To this end, we should build up innovative partnerships, and explore diverse funding channels for peacebuilding. International financial institutions should increase dedicated investments in a targeted manner, work closely with the UN, government of relevant countries and the private sector, mobilize more funding that can be flexibly disposed, and push ahead peacebuilding projects. Projects supported by the peacebuilding fund should be clearly distinguished from the peacebuilding mandate of UN political and peacekeeping missions to achieve precision in investment and avoid duplication and waste.
Fifth, we need more comprehensive planning and coordination. The PBC, as the only body in the UN peacebuilding architecture that consists of member states, should fully play its convening role, better coordinate with the PBF and other stakeholders, and provide all-around peacebuilding support to countries in conflict or post-conflict settings. China supports stronger interactions between the PBC and the Security Council to create synergy. We look forward to more advice from the PBC to the Council, and encourage to invite, on a more frequent basis, the PBC chair to brief the Council, so that communications can be strengthened. On the issue of Haiti, in particular, we welcome greater commitments by the PBC with its advice on how to strengthen the mandate of BINUH and how to better help Haiti overcome its current difficulties.
China attaches great importance to peacebuilding, and has always actively supported the construction and development of countries in conflict or post-conflict settings through multilateral and bilateral channels. We have proposed the Belt and Road Initiative and the Global Development Initiative to inject strong momentum into achieving common development. China has made several contributions to the PBF, along with financial support to many peacebuilding projects through the Global Development and South-South Cooperation Fund and China-UN Peace and Development Fund. Currently, these projects are underway. China will continuously support the cause of peacebuilding with concrete actions and contribute to the achievement of long-lasting peace.
Thank you, Mr. President.