ADDIS ABABA, July 15 (Xinhua) -- The African Union (AU) on Monday hailed the first China-Africa Peace and Security Forum being held in Beijing, capital of China as a positive impetus to Africa's stability.
The statement was made by Smail Chergui, AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, as he emphasized the vital importance of the forum to drive China-Africa cooperation in peace-building efforts across the African continent.
"This meeting is happening at a time when Africa is experiencing growing insecurity and striving to end all conflicts on the continent to ensure a peaceful and stable Africa," the AU commissioner said in a statement.
"Premised around the hallmarks of the great Sino-Africa partnership, this forum provides a platform for us to discuss a comprehensive framework to solidify and continue to enhance China's support to peace and security on the continent," the statement read.
The AU commissioner also reiterated his "profound gratitude to the government of China for organizing this very first China-Africa Peace and Security Forum."
Noting the AU's previous efforts in preventing and mitigating threats to stability on the continent, Chergui stressed that the 55-member pan African bloc "has prevented elections-related and other forms of violence from erupting, brokered peace between states and opposition groups, and contributed to long-term stabilization and peace-building through the deployment of Peace Support Operations."
Chergui, however, said that Africa has "continued to face challenges relating to the timeliness to generate all the required resources and capabilities that the Africa Peace and Security Architecture Framework outlines."
"This is why we appreciate the strategic and reliable partnership between the African Union and the People's Republic of China in supporting efforts to enhance AU Peace Support Operations capabilities," the AU commissioner stressed.
According to the AU, the Chinese government has "provided continuous support to AMISOM since 2011, through the donation of equipment, and funding support of approximately 1.2 million US Dollars annually."
China has also provided support to the African Standby Force through the provision of equipment that forms part of strategic stock for the African Standby Force, to the tune of 400 million U.S. dollars, according to the AU.
Representatives of the Chinese military as well as nearly 400 representatives from 400 African countries and the AU, including 15 defense ministers and chiefs of staff, are attending the first China-Africa Peace and Security Forum, held by China's Ministry of National Defense.
The attendees will discuss the initiative of building a China-Africa community with a shared future that was raised at the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, and focus on topics including China-Africa cooperation in peace and security, and regional maritime security.
Speaking on behalf of African representatives, Hamed Bakayoko, defense minister of Cote d'Ivoire, said he hopes the forum will help strengthen China-Africa cooperation in peace and security, so that the two sides will jointly safeguard peace in Africa and the world.
The representatives from Africa will visit China's army, navy and air force troops as well as Shanghai during the forum, which runs until Saturday.