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Statement by Counselor Yao Shaojunat the Third Committee of the 70th Session of the GA under the Agenda Item UNHCR

2015-11-05 11:33

Mr. Chairman,

The Chinese delegation would like to thank High Commissioner Guterres for the report submitted under this agenda item and express appreciation for his positive contribution to the international cause of refugee protection over the past decade.

The international community is currently faced with the biggest refugee crisis since World War II. The global humanitarian situation is dire. In the conflicts and turmoil that are ravaging numerous countries and regions including Syria, Iraq, South Sudan, Yemen and Somalia, civilians bear the brunt of the damage and humanitarian relief and assistance efforts are overwhelmed. The refugee crisis in the Mediterranean Sea has further aroused the concern of the whole world.

The root cause of the current refugee problem lies in the imbalance in development and regional instability. Therefore, while providing humanitarian assistance to refugees, the international community should address issues of poverty and social stability with a greater sense of urgency and try to eliminate the root causes of conflict in countries of origin. All parties should use peaceful means to resolve conflicts and disputes and strengthen cooperation in the common fight against terrorism. In the meantime, we should seize the opportunity offered by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to increase support to developing countries, improve their development environment and promote their coordinated development in economic and social areas. The development needs of developing countries and the unique challenges they face should be given full consideration and issues of livelihood such as elimination of poverty and hunger and improvement of health should be accorded priority attention. Only by adopting a multi-pronged and holistic approach can the problem of refugees and displacement be fundamentally solved.

Mr. Chairman,

Developing countries are hosting more than 80% of the refugees of the world. On their part, developed countries should act in the spirit of burden sharing, accept refugees with an open and tolerant mind, respect and protect their human rights in accordance with relevant provisions of international law and provide more financial and humanitarian assistance to developing countries. International refugee protection mechanisms should strictly follow the principles of objectivity, neutrality and humanitarianism and avoid being politicized and abused. The protection of and assistance to women, children and other vulnerable refugee groups should be strengthened; full attention should be given to the heavy burden created by the refugee problem for the economic and social development of developing countries; and assistance should be provided to refugees for their repatriation or integration in host societies on a voluntary basis. China supports UNHCR in continuing to carry forward internal reform, aiming to achieve rational distribution of resources and assisting developing countries with capacity building.

The Chinese government has actively contributed to the global cause of refugee protection. China has provided on many occasions and in many forms humanitarian supplies and cash assistance to the people of Syria and Syrian refugees overseas with the cumulative value of over 230 million RMB yuan (about 37 million US dollars). Recently, China made the decision to provide another batch of humanitarian assistance totaling 100 million RMB yuan (about 16 million US dollars) to Syria, Jordan and Lebanon. In 2015, the Chinese government has donated 800,000 US dollars to UNHCR. China will continue to strengthen cooperation with UNHCR and other relevant UN agencies and work together with the international community to contribute to the promotion of international peace and stability and strengthening international protection of refugees.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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