China welcomes the launch of the Joint Appeal given that terrorism is a significant threat facing the African continent, said Dai Bing, China’s deputy permanent representative to the United Nations. China hopes the Flagship Initiative will promote synergy among UN agencies to help Africa deal with the challenge of terrorism, he added.
Dai called for efforts to strengthen counter-terrorism capacity-building in Africa.
Practices in many African countries have proved that establishing professional security institutions can fight terrorism and maintain stability. In August last year, China promoted a Security Council open debate on strengthening Africa’s capacity-building. The council adopted a presidential statement, one of the crucial goals of which is to support Africa’s security capacity-building, said Dai. "We hope the Joint Appeal will promote the tilting of global counter-terrorism resources to Africa, focusing on increasing support for capacity-building."
He also called for efforts to tackle the root causes of terrorism.
In February this year, the UN Development Programme released a report stating that poverty and unemployment constitute the main reasons for people in the Sahel region to join violent extremist organizations. This also applies to other regions in Africa with terrorist activities. Dai said he hoped that projects under the appeal would help improve the living conditions of people in poor areas and eliminate the root causes of conflicts.
In addition, Dai called for an objective look at the challenges facing Africa’s counter-terrorism operations, including the issue of human rights.
"With regard to human rights issues, it should be noted that the AU (African Union) and African countries have made great efforts to strengthen the capacity-building of the troops and enhance the awareness of human rights protection," he said. "One cannot just assume that there is a problem with the protection of human rights every time the issue of counter-terrorism in Africa is mentioned. This is a kind of prejudice. Human rights cannot be used as an excuse to reduce counter-terrorism support to Africa. It is hoped that relevant projects of the Joint Appeal will pay attention to this issue."
The Global Security Initiative proposed by China takes support for Africa’s counter-terrorism as essential. It promotes strengthening the role of the United Nations in fighting terrorism. In recent years, China has supported UN agencies such as the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism through the China-UN Peace and Development Fund.
Dai said that China would actively participate in the Joint Appeal, deepen cooperation with UN agencies under the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation framework and the China-UN Peace and Development Fund, and provide more support for Africa’s counter-terrorism efforts.
The launch of the joint appeal was a side event during UN Counter-Terrorism Week.