|Remarks by Ambassador Geng Shuang at Security Council Open Video Conference on Afghanistan|
I thank SRSG Ms. Lyons for her briefing. I also listened very carefully to the remarks of Ambassador Raz and Mr. Mohseni.
With the intra-Afghan negotiation is looming ahead of us, Afghanistan's peace and reconciliation process has come to a critical juncture, which is vital to Afghanistan's future. As a close neighbor, China sincerely hopes that all parties in Afghanistan could seize this rare opportunity to find a political solution and jointly work for the early achievement of peace, stability, reconstruction, and development in Afghanistan.
Taking this opportunity, I would like to make four points.
First, China firmly supports an inclusive peace process that is "Afghan-led and Afghan-owned".
Dialogue and negotiation is the only way out for the Afghan issue, and the destiny of Afghanistan should be in the hands of the Afghan people. China calls on all parties to stick to the ultimate goal of political settlement and adhere to the basic principle of "Afghan-led and Afghan-owned" peace process. All parties to the intra-Afghan negotiations should make endeavors to build a broad-based and inclusive political framework that allows equal participation and power-sharing.
The peace process in Afghanistan concerns the interests of all parties and involves many factors. It is by no means an easy task. The international community should respect the Afghan people's will, pay attention to regional countries' concerns, and provide support and convenience as far as possible while avoiding imposing its own will on the peace process.
China keeps close communication with relevant parties, especially countries in the region, to promote intra-Afghan talks. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi made a five-point proposal on the intra-Afghan negotiations last month, which deserve people's serious consideration. We will continue to work with other parties under relevant mechanisms, including the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and the trilateral China-Afghanistan-Pakistan dialogue, and we are ready to provide a platform for intra-Afghan talks.
Second, China firmly supports continued efforts to improve the security situation in Afghanistan.
The security situation in Afghanistan is closely linked with the intra-Afghan negotiation. The negotiation process should be advanced without inflicting new troubles to the peace and stability in Afghanistan. The reoccurrence of internal turmoil or conflict should be avoided.
China calls on all parties concerned to respond to the Secretary-General's appeal for a global ceasefire and urges the parties concerned to ensure that the withdrawal of foreign forces in Afghanistan is conducted in an orderly and responsible manner in implementing the US-Taliban agreement. They should avoid leaving a security vacuum and prevent terrorist forces from staging a comeback by exploiting the situation and jeopardizing national and regional security. We encourage the Secretary-General to assess the impact of foreign troops' withdrawal on Afghanistan's security situation and provide its recommendations in this regard.
The international community should continue to help with Afghan security forces' capacity building and support them in stepping up counter-terrorism efforts. UNAMA should closely monitor Afghanistan's security situation and report to the Security Council in a timely manner.
Third, China firmly supports Afghanistan's integration into regional cooperation.
Economic and social development is the foundation for lasting peace. Afghanistan is a landlocked country and the nexus of South and Central Asia. Building connectivity and integrating into regional cooperation is the only way for Afghanistan to achieve economic development and improve people's livelihoods.
China has been actively promoting infrastructure development in regional countries and the connectivity cooperation among them. China is committed to helping Afghanistan deepen its economic and trade cooperation with regional countries, especially neighboring countries, including through collaboration under the Belt and Road Initiative. And we call on all Afghan parties to ensure the safety and security of foreign investors and projects in Afghanistan.
The international community should also stay committed to a solution that addresses the root causes of Afghan issue, such as poverty, refugee, and narcotics.
Fourth, China firmly supports Afghanistan in combating COVID-19.
The COVID-19 pandemic has put Afghanistan's economic and social development under greater pressure. The international community should step up humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan. Security Council resolution 2532 on COVID-19 should be effectively implemented. China calls on the international community to help Afghanistan build up its public health system and strengthen its epidemic prevention and control efforts.
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19, China has provided multiple batches of anti-epidemic supplies and sent medical expert teams to Afghanistan. We commend UNAMA for helping the Afghanistan people fight COVID-19 and call for strict measures to ensure the safety and security of UNAMA staff themselves.
China supports UNAMA in carrying out its mandate. Its role in supporting regional cooperation should be maintained and strengthened. Consensus reached by member states in this regard should be cherished. We look forward to seeing a more robust, helpful, and constructive UNAMA and encourage it to play a bigger role in resolving the Afghan issue.
Thank you, Mr. President.