|Remarks by Ambassador Dai Bing at Security Council Briefing on the Situation in Mali|
I thank Special Representative Annadif for his briefing, based on which and in connection with the SG’s report, I wish to emphasize the following.
First, the transition process in Mali is in general moving forward smoothly with good progress made in establishing the transitional government and National Transitional Council, and implementing the peace and reconciliation agreement, among others. All parties in the country must put the interests of the nation and its people first, seize the opportunity of this crucial stage, forge consensus on institution building and election preparation, with a view to laying a solid foundation for the general election next year, as well as development in the long run. At the same time, it is important to honor the commitments made, implement the peace and reconciliation agreement in earnest, speed up reconfiguration and deployment of armed forces, promote the development zone in the north, to name a few. The AU and ECOWAS have played a leading role in defusing the crisis in Mali and promoting the transitional process. The UN and international partners must strengthen coordination with regional and sub regional organizations and work in synergy to jointly maintain peace and stability in Mali.
Second, it is imperative to continue the counterterrorism work. The G5 Sahel joint forces have made some achievements in combating terrorism in the country. However, terrorist and extremist forces are still rampant in northern and central Mali, and have been launching frequent attacks. There shall be no complacency in combating terrorism. China supports MINUSMA in assisting the G5 Sahel join forces as mandated and support the continued and active participation of Malian transitional government in counterterrorism efforts by G5 Sahel. MINUSMA suffered from multiple terrorist attacks last year, which China has strongly condemned and for which China has asked for immediate investigation to bring perpetrators to justice. Council resolution 2518 must be fully implemented to beef up security measures for UN peacekeeping forces and protect the safety of peacekeepers.
Third, root causes of turbulence must be eradicated. Mali is facing such challenges as political instability and shortage of food. The COVID-19 pandemic has made the economic situation in the country even worse, with over 600,000 people unable to return home and over 3 million people in urgent need of food assistance. The Malian transitional government must shoulder its responsibility, increase input in security development and other areas, restore economic activities and promote sustainable development, with a view to providing basic livelihood and security guarantee for its population. SG has recently appointed the Special Coordinator for development in the Sahel, who we hope will play an active role and work together with relevant UN agencies and international partners to promote regional security, humanitarian assistance and development in a coherent manner, provide more financial and technical support to effectively facilitate sustainable development in Mali and the region at large, and eliminate the root causes for instability. For a long time, China has been firm in supporting Mali in its socioeconomic development. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, we have provided Mali with multiple shipments of anti-pandemic supplies and emergency food assistance. We have recently dispatched the 27th medical team to the country. Despite the difficulties brought by the pandemic, China has been successful in such assistance projects as a vocational training center and University of Kabala project. China has been implementing its commitment of military aid to the AU worth 100 million US dollars. Through multilateral and bilateral channels, we have provided military assistance to G5 Sahel joint forces. The China-UN Peace and Development Fund has also contributed funds to some of MINUSMA’s cooperation projects. China stands ready to work with the international community to contribute to peace and development in Mali.
Thank you, Mr. President.