On December 4, 2020, Wang Yi, Special Representative of President Xi Jinping, State Councilor and Foreign Minister, attended the high-level video conference of the Security Council on “United Nations-African Union Cooperation” and delivered a speech entitled “Building a Consensus on Solidarity and Cooperation to Build a Peaceful and Prosperous Africa Together”.
Wang Yi said that the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the global crisis and profoundly affected the political, economic and social development of African countries. The peace and security situation in Africa is facing a series of new challenges. The United Nations should take active measures to help Africa tide over difficulties.
China puts forward four suggestions in this regard.
First, focus on uniting the fight against the epidemic and support African people to build a strong health and safety defense line.
Mobilize global resources to support the all-Africa anti-epidemic strategy formulated by the African Union, actively promote the accessibility and affordability of COVID-19 vaccine in African countries, break down traffic bottlenecks in Africa, open up the “last kilometer” of material, medicine and vaccine distribution, so that people in poor and remote areas and vulnerable groups can receive timely and effective treatment.
Support Africa to strengthen public health prevention and control systems, improve its ability to respond to major infectious diseases, and build a human health community.
Second, with the goal of “elimination of the sound of gunfire in Africa”, support African people to build peace and stabilize their homes. Without stability in Africa, it is difficult to say world peace. The United Nations and the African Union should work closely together to coordinate and promote the AU’s “Removing the Sound of Gunfire in Africa” initiative and Secretary-General Guterres’s Global Ceasefire Initiative, promote all parties to the conflict to focus on the fight against the epidemic, cast swords for the war, and stop the ceasefire to stop violence.
Strengthen cooperation in the fields of conflict prevention and mediation and the achievement of sustained peace to help Africa upgrade its autonomous peacekeeping, stabilization and counter-terrorism capabilities, and support sustainable and predictable financial support for AU peace and security operations.
Third, take the sustainable development agenda 2030 as the starting point to support African people to open up a vision of universal prosperity. Take poverty eradication as the primary goal, carry out closer cooperation in agriculture, education, health, infrastructure and other fields to support the construction of the African Free Trade Zone, mitigate the impact of the epidemic on the economy, and help improve people’s livelihood. Developed countries should take more and more practical steps in official development assistance, debt relief, technology transfer, etc.
The international financial institutions should invest more resources and projects on the African continent, which will be an investment in the future of mankind.
Fourth, with fairness and justice as the main purpose, support African people to share the fruits of global governance. Improve and strengthen the global governance system to overcome the phenomenon of injustice of rights, opportunities and rules.
The United Nations should further reflect Africa’s needs and interests in rule-making, resource allocation, staff distribution, etc., enhance the representativeness and voice of African countries, and make African people equal participants and important contributors to global governance. In dealing with African issues, we should respect the will of African people, play the role of regional and subregional organizations such as the African Union, and encourage and support endogenous solutions from Africa.
Wang Yi said that China has always been a true friend and fellow traveler of African countries. It has always adhered to the concept of true and cordiality and the correct concept of righteousness and interests, and strived to help African people realize their dream of Africa’s development and revitalization. In order to support Africa’s fight against the epidemic, President Xi Jinping proposed to hold a special summit on China-Africa solidarity and fight against the epidemic with African leaders, and unanimously decided to strengthen unity and joint action against the epidemic.
China sent medical expert groups and medical teams to African countries to provide urgently needed anti-epidemic materials to almost all African countries. In order to maintain peace and security in Africa, China actively provides free military assistance to the African Union and the five Sahel joint forces, and sends peacekeepers to United Nations peacekeeping operations in Africa.
In order to promote Africa’s prosperity and development, China and Africa have jointly formulated and successively implemented the “Ten Cooperation Plans” and “Eight Actions” to expand cooperation with Africa in new forms of digital economy, smart cities, clean energy, 5G, etc., and promote the high-quality development of the Belt and Road Initiative jointly built by China and Africa.
Wang Yi said that China will continue to provide full support for African people to embrace peace, help African countries catch up with the modern train, and continue to speak for African countries on the international stage. China is willing to work hand in hand with Africa to build a closer community of China-Africa destiny.
The meeting was organized at the initiative of South Africa, the President of the Security Council for December. President Ramaphosa of South Africa, leaders and representatives of Security Council members and some African countries, United Nations Secretary-General Guterres, Chairman of the African Union Commission Faki and others attended the meeting.
All parties believe that it is very important to adhere to multilateralism and strengthen cooperation between the United Nations and the African Union. The United Nations should increase its attention and investment in Africa, support African countries in solving African problems in an African way, better respond to the challenges of the epidemic, maintain peace and security, and achieve sustainable development.