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Ambassador He Yafei Addressed the Second African Forum for Dialogue

The Second African Forum for Dialogue was held in Geneva on 25th May 2010. Over 300 participants, including Permanent Representatives of US, Japan, Russia, Brazil, Zimbabwe, Angola and Norway as well as heads of AU, EU, UNCTAD, PBC, ITU, WMO and other international organizations, attended the forum. Ambassador He Yafei addressed the Forum focusing on the theme of “Strengthening New China-Africa Strategic Partnership, Promoting Peace, Security and Sustainable Development in Africa”.

Ambassador He said, the international relations are experiencing new major transformation. The world economy is recovering, yet uneven and fragile. Maintaining peace, security and development is a key challenge facing the international community. Africa accounts for 1/4 of the UN membership and 12 percent of the world's population. Without the development of Africa, there will be no sustained development of the world as a whole.

Ambassador He pointed out this year is the year of 10-year review of UN Millennium Development Goals. It is therefore of special significance that we are having this Dialogue Forum to share ideas and showcase achievements of African progress in peace, security and sustainable development, and to further promote partnerships among members of international community. The international community should pay closer attention to the issues of Africa, listen carefully to and respect its views, accommodate its concerns and support African governments and people in their efforts on peace, security and sustainable development.

Ambassador He put forward four-point proposal on how the international community should support Africa for its peace, security and development. First, it is important to safeguard peace and security in Africa. The UN should play an active role and urge all parties concerned to settle disputes through consultation and negotiation. The international community should work together to help African countries develop economy, eradicate poverty, protect environment, promote social progress and remove the root causes of conflicts and instability in Africa. Second, it is important to deliver on the commitments of assistance to Africa. We should honor our commitments to Africa and align our efforts with the basic needs and long-term development strategy of African countries, and respect their participation, ownership and their choice for development models. Third, it is important to step up capacity building for Africa. We should support the implementation of NEPAD and fulfill our duty in terms of debt relief, market access and technology transfer. Moreover, efforts should be made to increase their voice and participation in international financial reforms. Fourth, it is important to help Africa meet global challenges. We should listen to the African countries' concerns, take a holistic approach to ensure development and assistance programs are coherent and coordinated, and forge a genuine global partnership to achieve win-win outcome for all.

Ambassador pointed out, China is the largest developing country and Africa is home to most developing countries. China-Africa cooperation is an important part of the South-South cooperation. The Chinese Government is firmly committed to strengthening its friendly cooperation with Africa and supporting Africa in achieving peace and development. For over 50 year, China has provided assistance to Africa to the best of its capability.

Ambassador He said, in terms of peace and security, China, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, has been always supporting and participating in UN peacekeeping operations in Africa. Since 1990, China has participated in 12 UN peacekeeping operations in Africa, providing more than 10,000 personnel. Now there are more than 1600 military staff and civilian police from China in Africa. China supports the conflict-resolution efforts of African countries, sub-regional organizations and African Union. The Chinese Government appointed its Special Representative for African Affairs in May 2007. H.E. Ambassador Liu Guijin has been working in smoothing away the conflicts in Darfur, Sudan and other parts of the Continent. China actively joined the international anti-pirates task force patrolling the waters off Somalia, and made important contribution on keeping the security of the Gulf of Aden and Somali waters.

Ambassador He said, in terms of economic and social cooperation, China, for over 50 years, has provided assistance to Africa to the best of its capability. China made US$7.8 billion of direct investments in Africa by 2008. Two-way trade between China and Africa reached US$91.1 billion in 2009. By the end of 2009, China had built more than 900 infrastructure and public welfare projects, sent 17,000 medical personnel to 47 African countries, where they had treated 200 million patients, provided over 20,000 government scholarships

Ambassador He said, in order to further strengthen the friendly cooperation between China and Africa, to jointly meet the challenge of economic globalization and to promote common development, the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation was established by China and friendly African countries in 2000. Since then, the Forum has held one summit and four ministerial conferences. At Beijing summit in 2006, Chinese President Hu Jintao announced 8 measures to strengthen cooperation with Africa and support African development, including providing more aid, establishing China-Africa development Fund, canceling debts, waiving duties, creating economic and trading cooperation districts in African countries, training African professionals, sending agricultural experts, building agricultural centers, hospitals, malaria prevention and treatment centers, schools for Africa. Despite the impact of the international financial crisis, China have honored the commitments made at the Beijing Summit in an all-round way. At the 4th Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in 2009, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao announced further 8 new measures to strengthen China-Africa cooperation, involving climate change, agriculture, environment protection, investment promotion, debt canceling, science and technology cooperation, healthcare, education and other aspects of social economy. China will continue to enhance cooperation with African countries, ensure the successful implementation of the measures, and take effective steps to support Africa's peace, security and sustainable development. China is, as always, ready to work with African countries and all other partners to achieve this goal.

Ambassador He also answered questions on China-Africa relations, China’s assistance to Africa, China-Africa cooperation on energy, environment and etc.

The African Forum for Dialogue was launched in Geneva by Dr. Jean Ping, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, in May 2009 as part of the effort by the leadership of the Commission to foster global partnership and cooperation for the development of Africa, and attainment of peace and security in the continent. The Africa Union declared 2010 as the “Year of Peace and Security in Africa”. This year’s Forum therefore appropriately focused on the theme of “Peace and Security for Sustainable Development in Africa”.

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