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Remarks by Ambassador Dai Bing at the UN General Assembly Debate on the Syrian Humanitarian Issue

2022-07-21 16:24

Madam President, 

The Syrian crisis has dragged on for 11 years, and inflicted profound calamity onto the Syrian people. China pays great attention to this issue. We have always supported the UN and the international community in extending humanitarian relief to Syrians in line with the principles of humanity, neutrality, and impartiality. China, on its part, has also actively delivered assistance of all kinds to Syria through multiple channels, and has played a constructive role in improving the humanitarian situation on the ground and overcoming difficulties facing the country’s economy and people’s livelihood. 

Madam President, 

China’s position on the Syrian humanitarian issue has been consistent and clear. Efforts to address this issue must fully respect Syria’s sovereignty and the ownership of the Syrian Government. Cross-line delivery should become the main avenue for humanitarian aid to Syria. The cross-border mechanism is only a temporary arrangement made in line with the extraordinary situation in Syria, and should transition at a greater pace towards cross-line delivery with a clear timeline for drawing cross-border aid to an end. At the same time, more and targeted investment should be made in early recovery projects to enhance Syria’s homegrown development drive. 

China wishes to emphasize once more that unilateral sanctions have caused immeasurable negative impacts on the socioeconomic recovery and development in Syria by impeding the international humanitarian agencies’ operation in the country. Such measures have become the most significant obstacle to solving the Syrian humanitarian issue, and must thus be immediately and fully lifted. The Security Council must make clear provisions to this end. 

Madam President, 

Security Council Resolution 2642 allows for a more flexible arrangement for renewing the authorization for cross-border humanitarian aid to Syria, which will facilitate the Council’s timely assessment on and adjustment to its authorization. This resolution, in line with the latest the situation, further requires the delivery of early recovery projects and greater transparency in the relief efforts. The Council’s informal interactive dialogues held every two months are also conducive to concretely following up on the progress in implementing the resolution. Most Council members voted in favor of this resolution. We expect all parties to strictly abide by the basic principles governing international humanitarian assistance, stringently adhere to the provisions in the Council resolution, ensure the neutrality and transparency of relief efforts, and make them more targeted and effective. 

Madam President, 

During the consultation on the resolution, China repeatedly called upon all parties to stick to dialogue and consultation and to work until the last minute in an effort to find a practical and valuable solution. Regrettably, two days before the expiry of the authorization, when there was still margin for compromise, the Council deliberately resorted to a vote, which has led to the use of veto. Forcing a vote in such a manner was not necessary. This case shows that in the face of differences and contradictions, Council members can only find an effective solution to the issue at hand by following through with dialogue and consultation. Forcibly pushing for a vote will only escalate such contradictions and divergence, and will do a disservice to the Council’s effective discharge of its responsibilities. 

Madam President, 

To fundamentally solve the Syrian humanitarian issue requires actively promoting a Syrian-led and Syrian-owned political process. The relevant countries should immediately end their illegal occupation of Syria, and cease all acts that undermine Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. It is our expectation that Syria will return to the family of the Arab League at an early date, which is conducive to fostering regional synergy in promoting peace and to the early resolution of the Syrian issue. 

I thank you, Madam President.

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