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Remarks by Ambassador Dai Bing at Security Council Briefing on Syria

2021-12-20 21:15

Mr. President, 

I thank Special Envoy Geir Pedersen, USG Martin Griffiths and Madame Ballour for their briefings. 

China commends the unremitting efforts by the Special Envoy on the implementation of Security Council Resolution 2254. We welcome his recent visit to Damascus, during which he met with the Syrian Foreign Minister and exchanged views on outstanding issues facing Syria. We have noted that the constitutional committee has not yet determined the dates of the next round of meetings. We call on all parties to maintain constructive engagement with the Special Envoy and strive to reach a consensus at an early date on the arrangements for the next round of meetings. The Security Council should provide practical support for the work of the Special Envoy to advance the Syrian-led and Syrian-owned political process. 

Mr. President, 

10 years into the conflict, Syria is mired in a deep economic and humanitarian crisis. The international community must lend a helping hand to assist the Syrian people in maintaining their livelihood and hope. China supports the international community and the UN agencies in stepping up their assistance to Syria based on the guiding principles of emergency humanitarian relief as outlined in GA Resolution 46/182. USG Griffiths just introduced the report submitted by the Secretary-General pursuant to Resolution 2585. China has carefully studied the report and would like to emphasize the following points.

Any humanitarian relief operations in Syria should fully respect Syria's sovereignty and territorial integrity. The cross-border mechanism, which is politically and legally controversial, should be adjusted in a timely manner in light of the developments on the ground, making gradual transition to cross-line delivery. The report states that the environment for cross-border relief operations is complex. The local authority in some areas has close ties with terrorists and therefore the risk of misappropriation of humanitarian supplies cannot be ruled out. China is concerned about this and requests the UN to take all necessary monitoring measures to ensure the humanitarian nature of the cross-border operation. 

The cross-line humanitarian relief operations in northeastern and northwestern Syria should be continuously scaled up. China welcomes the UN's formulation of a six-month cross-line humanitarian relief plan for northwestern Syria, and welcomes the WFP's launch of the second cross-line delivery to northwestern Syria from December 9 to 10. We commend the Syrian Government's active cooperation in the implementation of the UN's plan and urge Turkey and other local authorities in northwestern Syria to provide timely access and safety guarantees for cross-line relief operations and facilitate the distribution of supplies. 

Early recovery and livelihood projects should be very vigorously supported. We are pleased to see that the UN and its partners are carrying out early recovery projects in multiple areas in accordance with requirements of Resolution 2585, including cleaning up debris, restoring critical infrastructure, providing vocational training, among others. However, the scale of relevant projects is quite limited. We hope the UN will step up investment in this area to help the Syrian people become self-sufficient and reduce their humanitarian needs. 

Lastly, I'd like to emphasize that to fundamentally overcome Syria's humanitarian challenges, we must comprehensively address the major issues that endanger Syria's sovereignty, security, and development. Unilateral sanctions have brought immeasurable losses and harms to Syria. Council members should take concrete measures to eliminate the negative impact of unilateral sanctions. Countries concerned should withdraw from the illegally occupied territory in northern Syria and stop all actions that undermine Syria's sovereignty and territorial integrity. The international community should abandon double standards and eradicate terrorist forces in Syria at an early date. Only in this way, can we help Syria restore peace and order and safeguard the fundamental interests of the Syrian people. 

That you, Mr. President.

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