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Group of Friends to better protect UN peacekeepers: FM spokesperson
From:ChinaDaily   |  2021-04-30 21:14

BEIJING - China recently launched the Group of Friends on the Safety and Security of United Nations Peacekeepers mechanism to enhance capacity development and further improve the security of peacekeepers, a spokesperson said on Friday.

The mechanism is the first of its kind to be co-initiated and co-chaired by China.

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin told a daily press briefing that UN peacekeeping operations are a major tool for maintaining international peace and security, and that peacekeepers are valuable assets for international peace.

Over the past 70 years, more than 3,000 peacekeepers from over 120 countries have lost their lives, said Wang. It is saddening to see that so far this year, 49 peacekeepers have sacrificed their lives for the cause of peacekeeping, he added.

Noting that China is the second-largest contributor to the UN peacekeeping budget and a major contributor of troops for peacekeeping missions, Wang said China has prioritized the security of peacekeepers.

China has jointly initiated the Group of Friends with 49 countries and regional organizations including permanent members of the UN Security Council, major countries and major contributors of troops, police and funding for peacekeeping operations, according to the spokesperson.

"This aims to provide a platform for enhancing information exchanges, policy coordination and capacity development, further improve the security of peacekeepers and ensure substantive progress in the security agenda of peacekeepers," he added.

"The group is open to all and other member states are free to contact us if they hope to join the mechanism," said Wang. "Let's make joint and persisting efforts to protect peacekeepers."

As this year marks the 50th anniversary of the restoration of China's legitimate rights in the UN, Wang said that China is ready to build on its momentum to firmly uphold multilateralism and deepen cooperation with the UN, and to contribute more to international peace and security.