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A Presidential Statement on Post-Pandemic Recovery in Africa Adopted at the UN Security Council Open Debate Chaired by Wang Yi

On May 19, 2021, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi chaired a UN Security Council Open Debate on "Peace and Security in Africa: Addressing Root Causes of Conflict in Post-Pandemic Recovery in Africa" as Security Council's President. The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) members adopted the presidential statement drafted by China by consensus.

The presidential statement stressed, the UNSC is seriously concerned about the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Africa's economic, political, security and humanitarian spheres, and its exacerbation of conflict in Africa. The international community should build up solidarity and strengthen cooperation and make the UN play a critical and coordinating role around the world. The international community should offer greater support to African countries and particularly conflict-affected countries, step up the medical supply, assay kit and vaccine assistance to African countries, and work to ensure that all people have equal access to treatment and vaccines. There are ongoing discussions at the World Trade Organization (WTO) on waiving intellectual property protections for the COVID-19 vaccine. The UNSC considers it necessary to increase the supply of raw materials and supports the transfer of technology and intellectual property rights upon consent from the parties concerned.

The presidential statement noted the importance of addressing the root causes of conflict in Africa. A multi-pronged approach and concerted efforts are required to promote the realization of sustainable economic growth and development, poverty reduction and other goals, and to cement the foundation of peace. Education and health care should be strengthened to enhance people's well-being, so as to eliminate the root causes of conflict and stop the spread of terrorism and violent extremism in Africa. The UN is encouraged to reinforce cooperation with African regional and sub-regional organizations, especially the African Union (AU), aiming at pooling the efforts of the international community to help Africa promote post-pandemic recovery and address the root causes of conflict.

The presidential statement expressed the need to resolve hot issues through dialogue, mediation, consultation and other political means, and to urge all parties in conflict to stop hostile actions immediately for the purpose of "Silencing the Guns in Africa". The UN should support Africa in increasing inclusiveness to political, social and economic development and help African countries achieve national reconciliation. The UN's peacekeeping operations have made an important contribution to maintaining peace and security in Africa. The UN should maintain the continuity of its peacekeeping operations, enhance the capacity of peacekeeping operations and special political missions to implement their mandates, and create an environment conducive to the economic recovery of countries in conflict. Security threats and attacks against UN peacekeepers are a serious concern, and it is important to protect the safety of peacekeepers.

The presidential statement pointed out, social and economic development is crucial to lasting peace in Africa. Efforts should be made to push the implementation of the AU's 2063 Agenda and the UN's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and to facilitate the economic development and integration process in Africa through cross-border and cross-regional infrastructure construction, industrialization, poverty reduction, job creation and agricultural modernization, so as to contribute to lasting peace in Africa. All parties should work together to support countries in conflict in enhancing food security. We should support African countries in formulating comprehensive strategies against the adverse impact of climate change, ecological change and natural disasters, etc. The full, equal and meaningful participation of women in decision-making on peace, security and development should be ensured and promoted, and the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and the Platform for Action be accelerated effectively across the board.

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