China calls for helping African countries enhance capacity to manage natural resources

A Chinese envoy on Thursday called on the international community to help African governments strengthen their capacity to manage natural resources, therefore tackle the illegal trafficking of natural resources and reap the resources dividend more effectively.

In some conflict areas in Africa, a continent with rich natural resources and great development potential, illegal exploitation and trafficking of natural resources, including wildlife resources, run rampant, profiting armed groups and terrorist forces and becoming an important conflict trigger and enabler, said Dai Bing, China’s deputy permanent representative to the United Nations.

“Enhanced governance capacity can effectively squeeze the space of illegal trafficking of resources for illicit gains,” Dai told a UN Security Council open debate with the theme “Peace and Security in Africa: Strengthening the Fight Against the Financing of Armed Groups and Terrorists Through the Illicit Trafficking of Natural Resources.”

The international community should give full support to African governments’ leading role in resource management, and help governments in conflict-affected countries to improve capacity in industrial planning, financial oversight and security enforcement to transform their resource advantage into an edge in development, he said.

The envoy pointed out that armed groups and terrorist forces tend to thrive in underdeveloped regions, and local population’s involvement in illegal trafficking is often driven by poverty, unemployment and other livelihood concerns.

“This situation is exacerbated by the severe inadequacy of international development and humanitarian assistance to Africa,” he noted.

China hopes that the international community, especially developed countries, will honor their commitments, step up the efforts to help Africa eradicate poverty, ensure food security, accelerate infrastructure development, promote education and employment, and provide more substantive development assistance, he said.

In his remarks, Dai also called for the establishment of a more fair and equitable global resource value system, saying that the unfair and inequitable international economic order has chronically trapped African countries at the low end of the global industrial chain.

The international community should support Africa’s efforts to derive more added-value from their natural resources and lift their position in the global value chain. Relevant countries shall lift unilateral sanctions to reduce the negative impacts on the exploitation of natural resources and export revenue generation in Africa, he said.

China has always supported African countries in their sound development and utilization of natural resources, following the principle of equality, mutual benefit and win-win cooperation, Dai said.

“China will continue to work with the international community to support African countries in harnessing their natural resource dividend and making greater contribution to maintaining peace and stability and achieving common development,” he said.