Sierra Leone’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations has said, the restoration of the People’s Republic of China’s lawful seat in the United Nations some 45 years ago by the 26th UN General Assembly represented a major victory won through a long struggle by China and many developing countries who wanted to uphold justice.
His Excellency Mr. Adikalie Foday Sumah spoke on Tuesday 25th October, 2016, in Beijing, at a symposium on the 45th anniversary of the restoration of China’s lawful seat in the United Nations.
According to ambassador Sumah, the successful restoration of China’s lawful seat was “a major breakthrough” in her diplomacy”, which also marked the failure of countries that had sought to block the restoration of the lawful rights of the country.
Ambassador Sumah said, it was not easy to get China’s seat restored, but that on October 25th 1971, the 26th UN General Assembly rejected a resolution nicknamed ironically “the important question” with 59 votes against, 55 votes for and 15 abstentions.
“It proceeded to pass with an overwhelming majority of votes: 76 votes for, 35 votes against and 17 abstentions. This resolution was sponsored by countries like Albania, Algeria and fully supported by Sierra Leone and other 21 countries, which decided to restore all the lawful rights of the People’s Republic of China in the United Nations.”
It is the UN General Assembly Resolution No. 2758, he said, that brought about a thorough and fair settlement of China’s representation in the United Nations politically, legally and procedurally.
Ambassador Sumah also looked at China’s contribution to world peace, saying, the country’s increased financial contribution to the UN “has had a more positive influence and further allows the country to promote peace, development and cooperation of the world. It is conducive to the practice of multilateralism and the UN’s central role in world affairs.”
The UN, he went on, has itself acknowledged the increasingly-important role China is playing in providing public services in war-torn areas.
“China is in 10 of the 16 peacekeeping operations. In Africa of course, in Darfur, in South Sudan, in Liberia, they do make a huge contribution to the UN’s operations, performing in a very satisfactory manner efficiently and effectively. China also does contribute a number of assets that are critical to the success of peacekeeping, medical doctors of course.”
The Forum On China Africa Cooperation, (FOCAC) he said “has provided a serious and effective platform for China to contribute immensely to the rebuilding of Africa” especially in the area of infrastructure.
On Sierra Leone, Ambassador Sumah dilated on China’s support to building her (Sierra Leone) infrastructure, support to the health sector, specifically referencing the outstanding role the Chinese played during the ebola outbreak and the China-Sierra Leone Friendship Hospital based in Jui, in the small West African nation.
“Perhaps the most important contribution of the Chinese Government in the Development of Sierra Leone is in the area of Capacity building of government and other private sector officials”, ambassador Sumah said.
Concluding, China’s contribution to the United Nations, he said, is quite massive and for this, the world is a better place. “China has been a friend of Africa in particular and we know this friendship will only continue to blossom.”
It is in the spirit of friendship, ambassador Sumah said, he was certain, “China would continue to fight to ensure that the historical injustice of Africa not being represented in the permanent category of the UN Security Council will be corrected just as the historical injustice of restoring China’s seat in the UN was corrected 45 years ago.”
Also attending the symposium were the Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister, Li Baodong, the United Nations Under-Secretary of Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman and the President of the United Nations Association of China.
His Excellency Mr. Adikalie Foday Sumah is in the People’s Republic of China on the invitation of the United Nations Association of China and China’s Peoples Institute of Foreign Affairs.
John Baimba Sesay
Information/ Press Attaché
Sierra Leone Embassy
People’s Republic of China