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UN Security Council members discuss peacekeeping operations in China visit

By HONG XIAO at the United Nations | China Daily USA | Updated: 2018-12-04 05:14

File Photo: Chinese Ambassador to the United Nations Ma Zhaoxu. [Photo/IC]

Members of the United Nations Security Council paid a “very rich and intensive” visit to China recently, said Ma Zhaoxu, China’s permanent representative to the UN.

Ma, who was also president of the Security Council for the month of November, outlined the highlights of the visit at a press briefing on Nov 29.

In an innovative move during his presidency of the Council, Ma invited council members to visit Beijing, Guangzhou and Shenzhen from Nov 24 to 28 at the behest of the Chinese government.

The visit was considered as an exchange on UN peacekeeping and China's reform and opening-up, as well as way to build mutual trust.

“In Beijing we focused on bilateral meetings and peacekeeping operations, which was the seed of the visit,” said Ma, adding that members met Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Defense Minister Wei Fenghe.

Ma said the two sides had in-depth exchanges of views on the world situation as well as China’s stance and members' concerns on international and regional issues.

A highlight of the Beijing trip was a visit to a standby peacekeeping force. The members had a thorough exchange with the soldiers, officials and experts there. Ma believes the visit enhanced the members’ understanding of China’s commitment to peacekeeping.

In Guangzhou and Shenzhen, council members visited several high-tech companies and got a better understanding of China’s policy of reform and opening-up, Ma said.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening-up policy, which both Guangzhou and Shenzhen pioneered.

“It’s important for the members to have the opportunity to discuss issues of common concern in a free and relaxed atmosphere,” said Ma.

“That will be beneficial to enhancing mutual understanding and mutual trust among member states, which is the foundation of our work on the Security Council," he added.

Ma concluded that under his presidency, the Security Council had “a very busy and productive month and made a contribution to maintaining international peace and security.”

“Altogether, 35 meetings have been held, six resolutions adopted and seven press statements issued," Ma added, summarizing the major achievements of the month.

Ma said that one of the most positive results produced over the month was “showing support for multilateralism and a stronger role of the United Nations”.

As for the open debate on strengthening multilateralism and the role of the UN, Ma pointed out that the event “was widely received by member states”.

Ma said he was very glad to see Secretary General Antonio Guterres and the heads of major UN agencies show up at the debate, sharing their views and lending their support to both the event and multilateralism.

More than 70 countries and international organizations were represented at the event, the ambassador said.

As for the resolutions adopted, Ma noted that they played an important role in “pushing for the settlement of hotspot issues”.

Mentioning Resolution 2444, which is aimed at lifting sanctions on Eritrea, Ma said, “This decision will build on the momentum of improved relations between countries in the Horn of Africa and lay a foundation for a lasting peace in the region.”

For consultations and open debates on the Middle East, Ma talked about the emergency consultation held in response to the escalating situation in Gaza, calling on parties concerned to exercise restraint and protect civilians, and find a lasting solution to the conflict.

Recalling the open debate on strengthening peacekeeping efforts in Africa, Ma said that discussion was also warmly welcomed by member states.

Ma said delegates from 56 countries and international organizations made statements.

Speakers expressed support for enhancing African capabilities for peace and security and gave some “very valuable” suggestions.

During the month, China constantly explored ways to improve the working methods of the Security Council and achieved positive results.

Ma said during the rotating presidency, China “vigorously carried out great power diplomacy with Chinese characteristics, contributed Chinese wisdom, embodied Chinese characteristics, demonstrated China's image, and played a positive and constructive role in promoting world peace and development.”

Xinhua contributed to this story.

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