In this Aug 30, 2022 photo, Dai Bing (left, front), China's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, speaks during a UN Security Council briefing at the UN headquarters in New York. Dai Bing urged international community to help Mali build its counter-terrorism capacities. (PHOTO / XINHUA)
UNITED NATIONS – A Chinese envoy on Friday urged the international community to help Mali build counterterrorism capacities.
"The international community should help Mali strengthen its counterterrorism capacity building, bolster its support in terms of finance, equipment, intelligence, and logistics, and respect Mali's sovereign right to engage in external security cooperation," Dai Bing, China's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, told a Security Council briefing on Mali.
The political and peace process in Mali stands at a critical juncture, which requires unrelenting attention and support from the international community.
China's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations
"Regional countries should keep up the current counterterrorism cooperation momentum and forge synergy," the envoy added.
Dai stated that Mali has recently conducted counterterrorism operations in Mopt among other areas to maintain local stability and protect civilians, noting that these efforts "merit our full recognition."
"Terrorist forces remain rampant and are constantly harassing villages, kidnapping and attacking civilians. Such security threats are spilling over to neighboring countries," he said. "Mali stands at the forefront of counterterrorism efforts in the Sahel and West Africa."
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"To support Mali in combating terrorism is to safeguard regional peace," the envoy stressed.
Speaking about the situation in the war-torn country, Dai said that "the political and peace process in Mali stands at a critical juncture, which requires unrelenting attention and support from the international community."
"We need to help the Malian Government properly address the various challenges," he added.
Referring to the efforts made by the Malian government, the envoy said that Mali has recently initiated the constitutional process, set up a more inclusive National Transitional Council, and advanced election preparations.
"China welcomes these positive outcomes," he said.
Noting that political transition can hardly be achieved overnight, the ambassador said that it is essential to ensure broad-based participation, take into account the interests of all parties, safeguard unity and stability, and address differences through dialogue and consultation, thereby creating conditions conducive to the constitutional referendum and the electoral process.
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"The international community, in providing support, should respect Mali's sovereignty and ownership. The AU and the Economic Community of West African States should continue to play a constructive role. The implementation of the Peace and Reconciliation Agreement is of vital importance," Dai spelled out.
"We welcome the efforts made by all parties concerned to reopen the dialogue mechanism, including the monitoring committee, commend the important role played by Algeria in leading the international mediation team, and look forward to greater contributions from the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA)," he said.
With the backdrop that Mali faces a grim economic situation, with a quarter of its population in need of humanitarian assistance, Dai said that "we should work together to help alleviate its difficulties, ensure that relief funds are in place, and forestall the recurrence of humanitarian disaster in Mali."
"It is necessary to scale up investment in peacebuilding, support Mali in implementing projects in such areas as agriculture development, infrastructure, education, and housing, and help Mali enhance its own development capacity," he added.
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Turning to MINUSMA, Dai said that efforts must be made to strengthen the mission's top-level design, streamline and optimize its mandate, and focus its resources and strength on the most central and urgent tasks.