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Remarks by Ambassador Geng Shuang at the UN General Assembly Briefing on UNRWA

2024-03-05 16:00

Mr. President,

Since the outbreak of the new round of Palestinian-Israeli conflict, an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe has been unfolding in Gaza. The presence and work of UNRWA have been indispensable and irreplaceable for over two million people in Gaza to receive international humanitarian aid. Risking their lives, the staff of UNRWA have built a lifeline for the people in Gaza through their efforts and sacrifices.

It is disturbing that recently UNRWA has been subjected to systematic attacks and accusations and the unilateral boycott and unjust treatment by Israel. For this, we express serious concerns and firm opposition. We support the UN in conducting independent and fair investigations into the relevant allegations against UNRWA staff and call upon Israel and all relevant parties to offer all cooperation regarding the investigations. Meanwhile, the fact of investigations being launched must not be used to negate or even undermine the work of UNRWA, still less to attack the relief staff of UNRWA and other humanitarian agencies.

Under the extremely difficult current situation, suspending support for UNRWA is tantamount to depriving the people in Gaza of their last hope for survival and tantamount to collective punishment for the Palestinians dependent on UNRWA. We call upon relevant donors to fully consider the disastrous situation facing the people of Gaza, in particular women and children, set store by the big picture of humanitarian relief for Gaza, and immediately resume their funding for UNRWA.

Mr. President,

An immediate ceasefire in Gaza is the overwhelming call of the international community and a long overdue decision that should have been made by the Security Council. However, due to the constant obstruction of one permanent member, the Council still has not taken any action on this. We call upon this country to adopt a just and responsible attitude and stop continuing to be on the opposite side of the international community. Ramadan is approaching, which is a highly sacred period for Muslims. Israel should immediately stop its military offensive against Gaza, stop the forced displacement of the Palestinian people, effectively fulfill its obligations as an occupying power, ensure access for humanitarian supplies, and guarantee the safety of humanitarian agencies, including UNRWA, and their personnel.

China will continue to work with the international community to support the work of UNRWA and other humanitarian agencies in Gaza and to make tireless efforts to end the hostilities in Gaza, alleviate the humanitarian crisis, implement the two-State solution, and achieve lasting peace and stability in the Middle East.

Thank you, President.

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