A Chinese envoy on Monday called for ensuring access to vaccines for countries in West Africa and the Sahel.
"Recently, there has been a surge of COVID-19 cases in West African countries. The situation does not allow for optimism. The rapid spread of Omicron highlights the imbalanced vaccine distribution," Dai Bing, China's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations (UN), told the UN Security Council meeting on the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel.
"It is necessary to continue to support regional countries to fight against the pandemic, increase assistance, give early access to safe, affordable vaccines, promote exemption of intellectual property rights of vaccines to regional countries and support local vaccine production," he said.
The envoy underscored that China will comprehensively implement the outcome of the eighth ministerial conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, increase vaccine assistance to Africa, and make greater contributions to fighting against the pandemic in the region.
On the security situation in the region, Dai said that the international community should support relevant countries to resolve differences through dialogue, promote political transition, peaceful reconciliation and preparations for general elections in light of their national conditions and within their constitutional frameworks, and strive to maintain stability and eliminate the root causes of conflicts.
Speaking about the fight against terrorism, the envoy said, "the international community should support regional countries in strengthening counter-terrorism capacity-building and provide more support in funding, equipment and logistical supplies through multilateral and bilateral channels."
"It is necessary to respect the countries concerned in carrying out their foreign security cooperation according to their own needs, strengthen the coordination of counter-terrorism operations and information sharing to strive for synergy," he said.
"Through measures such as de-radicalization, we should eliminate the root causes of conflicts, carry out vocational education and training, community correction, address youth education and employment, and prevent youth and even children from being recruited by terrorist forces," he added.