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Chinese Diplomat Expounds View on Security Sector Reform at UN Debate
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China said on Tuesday that security sector reform should be conducted in such a way that the will of countries concerned should be respected.

"In the final analysis, the rebuilding of national institutions depends on the countries themselves. As they have different conditions and problems, it is useful to consult them and listen to their opinions," Cui Tiankai, China's assistant minister of foreign affairs, told an open debate of the United Nations Security Council.

"The international community, on its part, should act more as an advisor and assistance provider aiming at improving their 'blood-building' capacity and helping them find a mechanism and approach that fit their own conditions, instead of going beyond given mandates or even acting arbitrarily," Cui added.

He said that security sector reform has become an important part of peacekeeping and peace building. "The UN's practice in Liberia and Sierra Leone shows that the efforts to reform the security sector prove to be effective in restoring peace and promoting development."

Cui stressed that the reform should aim to ensure the involvement of the security sectors such as the army and police in nation building, preservation of stability and promotion of economic growth.

"Security sector reform should serve the comprehensive strategy of peacekeeping and peace building," he said. "The reform should match and complement the efforts for reconciliation, economic recovery, rule of law and human rights protection and vice versa."

Cui emphasized the important role of the UN in security sector reform, complaining of "too many institutions involved in the reform and too little coordination among them."

"The United Nations, in its unique position, should play the leading and coordinating role in the reform and mobilize all resources to increase efficiency," he said.

The UN, founded following the scourges of two world wars, "has the important responsibility to build a harmonious world of lasting peace and common prosperity in the 21st century," Cui said.

He said China stands ready to work with others to help conflicting parties "heal the wounds of conflict, embark on the road to develop and thus enable them to enjoy the dividends of peace."

At Tuesday's open debate, UN General-Secretary Ban Ki-moon urged the world body to draw upon its own resources and experience in reforming the security sector, underscoring the crucial role that security plays in successful peace-building and development efforts in countries emerging from conflict.

"Security sector reform embraces values and principles that lieat the core of the United Nations," Ban said. "The practical involvement of the UN in security sector reform has been shaped by decades of peacekeeping in post-conflict environments."

Ambassador Peter Burian of Slovakia, which holds the Security Council's revolving presidency this month, said in a statement that the 15-member body "stresses that reforming the security sector in post-conflict environments is critical to the consolidation of peace and stability, promoting poverty reduction, rule of law and good governance, extending legitimate state authority and preventing countries from relapsing into conflict."

Besides speakers representing individual member states, heads of the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council and the Organizational Committee of the Peace building Commission also spoke at the event.

(Xinhua News Agency February 21, 2007)

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