The United Nations expects China to have greater and active
involvement in future peacekeeping missions, a senior UN
peacekeeping official said in Beijing Wednesday.
"China has made considerable contribution to UN peacekeeping and
I hope the participation to grow in years," said Jean-Marie
Guehenno, under-secretary-general for peacekeeping operations of
the United Nations, at a press conference.
He said he discussed the possible expansion with Chinese
officials from the ministries of defense, public security and
China announced on Tuesday that a 315-member engineering group
would go to Darfur on Friday. It would be the first batch of
peacekeeping troops of the United Nations and the African Union in
place in the troubled western Sudanese region.
"This engineering unit has a critical role to play to facilitate
the deployment of other units," Guehenno said.
China has provided the second most peacekeepers among the five
permanent members of the UN Security Council, following France,
with about 1,800 soldiers and police serving UN missions
"The expansion of Chinese involvement in UN peacekeeping has
both practical and political reasons," Guehenno said.
China's active involvement in UN peacekeeping , an important
instrument for the UN to manage conflicts around the world, sends
strong signals that it not only stays in a key position in
decision-making of the UN Security Council but it also plays its
part in implementation, he said. With China's participation, the
implementation will be more successful.
From a practical perspective, China has sent the speciality
units that UN peacekeeping missions always need, such as
engineering and medical units, Guehenno said. "We hope China to
send more of such units, especially transport units."
When asked about the Darfur mission, he said it faced "enormous
challenges". Questions also remained whether it was possible to
deploy a strong peacekeeping force as the international society
In addition, it depended on political circumstances in the
war-torn region and the willingness of member countries to provide
troops, he said.
The successful mission needed the unity of the Security Council
and parties of the conflict in Darfur, he said. "The UN Security
Council is working to reach a unity but differences remain."
(Xinhua News Agency November 22, 2007)