A Chinese envoy on Wednesday called for more international support for Central Africa to help the countries in the region in their fight against COVID-19 and in their economic recovery.
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, countries in Central Africa have adopted strict measures and have implemented a regional strategy coordinated by the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS). As a result, the pandemic has been alleviated, said Dai Bing, China's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations.
That said, the pandemic is still spreading globally, and regional cooperation shall by no means be relaxed. The UN Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA) must help countries in the region in joint prevention and control, and promote cooperation in information sharing, testing methods, and clinical treatment, Dai told a Security Council meeting on UNOCA.
China has provided the region with multiple shipments of anti-epidemic supplies, and has dispatched medical experts to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the Republic of the Congo, Sao Tome and Principe, and Angola. China remains committed to offering further assistance, he said.
Dai asked for efforts to support countries in Central Africa in their economic recovery and development, which is severely affected by the pandemic and is facing increasing downward risks.
The international community has the obligation to help them maintain macroeconomic stability, expand job opportunities, and ensure a secure and smooth industrial chain and supply chain, he said.
China has been actively implementing the Group of 20 (G20) debt service suspension initiative, and is a country that has honored the largest amount in this regard among G20 members. China has helped Cameroon, the Republic of the Congo, the DRC, Angola, and other countries in the region overcome difficulties, he said.
Dai asked UNOCA to urge the developed countries and multilateral financial agencies to speed up actions and honor their commitments at an early date so as to genuinely alleviate the debt burden of the region.
He called for international commitment to supporting national efforts in safeguarding peace on their own.
The overall stability in Central Africa is a result of the concerted efforts of the countries in the region. However, it must be noted that Boko Haram and the Lord's Resistance Army are still active in the region while piracy in the Gulf of Guinea remains rampant. The international community must take action in support of the regional fight against terrorism and organized crime, he said.
In so doing, it is imperative to respect, at all times, national sovereignty and ownership, he added.
With multiple elections to be held this year and next year, UNOCA can provide, upon request of the countries concerned, technical support and assistance in kind, said Dai.
The question of the Southwest and Northwest regions of Cameroon falls into domestic affairs of the country by the nature of the issue. China is convinced that the government of Cameroon is able to handle it properly and maintain national stability, he said.
The government of the Central African Republic (CAR) is faced with the arduous task of security capacity-building. China continues to call on the Security Council to lift its arms embargo against the CAR at an early date, said Dai.
He stressed the need to support regional integration in Central Africa.
ECCAS has made solid strides in regional integration. UNOCA must facilitate good neighborly relations and deepen economic integration in the region, said Dai.
The implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development must be integrated into regional and national development strategies. China hopes that UNOCA will strengthen communication and coordination with other relevant UN agencies, sub-regional organizations and the African Unio, leverage their respective advantages, and form synergy with a view to promoting regional stability and prosperity, he said.