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Remarks by Ambassador Zhang Jun at the UN Security Council Briefing on the Humanitarian Issue of Ukraine

2022-03-08 09:15

Madam President,


First of all, I wish to thank Under-Secretary-General Griffiths and Executive Director Russell for their respective briefings. 


We remain concerned about the rapidly changing situation in Ukraine, and are deeply saddened by the reports of increasing number of civilian casualties. We appeal for the maximum restraint and stepped-up diplomatic efforts, so as to put an early end to the fight, ensure the protection of civilian life and property and their basic needs, and prevent the emergence of a large-scale humanitarian crisis. We noted that Russia and Ukraine have reached an agreement through negotiations on the establishment of humanitarian corridors and hope both parties will overcome the difficulties encountered in the implementation of this agreement so as to ensure that those corridors are safe and smooth. 


China's State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi today put forward a six-point initiative on the humanitarian situation in Ukraine. First, make sure that humanitarian operations abide by the basic principles of humanity, neutrality and impartiality established in UN General Assembly resolution 46/182, and avoid politicizing humanitarian issue. Second, give full attention to the displaced persons in and from Ukraine, and in particular provide humanitarian assistance to those countries hosting the displaced persons to help with their proper shelter. Third, ensure the protection of civilians and in particular protect the rights and interests of vulnerable groups such as women, children, the elderly and persons with disabilities; prevent food shortage, communicable diseases and other secondary humanitarian disasters in Ukraine. Fourth, provide for smooth and safe humanitarian aid activities, including providing rapid, safe and unimpeded humanitarian access, protect the safety of medical personnel and personnel engaged in medical duties, and protect the medical equipment and transportation used in humanitarian operations and critical civilian infrastructure. Fifth, provide for the safety of foreign nationals in Ukraine, allow them safe, secure and unrestricted departure and help them return to their home countries. Sixth, support the UN’s coordinating role in channeling humanitarian aid and the work of the UN Crisis Coordinator for Ukraine.  


During the course of organizing Chinese nationals seeking evacuation, we have received friendly assistance from the Ukrainian government and the different sectors of society in Ukraine, and countries including Russia, Moldova, Romania, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and Belarus have also provided valuable support here. We wish to express our heartfelt thanks to the government the people of these countries. 


Madam President, 


That the situation in Ukraine has developed to where it is today is due to a combination of complex factors. To resolve complex issues as such, what is required is calm and reason, rather than adding fuel to the flame, which will only lead to escalation. To resolve the crisis in Ukraine, it is imperative to abide by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, respect and ensure the sovereignty and territorial integrity of countries. It is imperative to abide by the principle of indivisible security, and address the legitimate security concerns of the parties concerned. It is imperative to stick to dialogue and negotiations and solve the dispute through peaceful means. Any action that is conducive to de-escalation and political settlement will have China’s support. Any action that is not conducive to promoting a diplomatic solution, and in essence means fueling the flame and leading to escalation will meet China's opposition. 


We are deeply concerned about the intensifying unilateral sanctions. Sanctions are not an effective means to ultimately solve the issue. On the contrary, they will create disastrous humanitarian consequences, and their spillover effect will only create damage to other countries. Sending offensive weapons and even mercenaries into Ukraine may further worsen the situation and create more and bigger risks. 


China will continue to speak for peace and work for peace. We encourage Russia and Ukraine to continue with their direct negotiations, and we look forward to fruitful talks where peace can be created. China has always been committed to facilitating talks for peace. On the second day of the conflict, in a phone call with President Putin, President Xi expressed his wish that Russia and Ukraine would hold peace talks as soon as possible, to which President Putin responded positively. China is prepared to work alongside the international community when needed to carry out necessary mediation. We also encourage the United States, NATO and EU to carry out equal dialogue with Russia, to face up to the antagonism and problems that have been accumulating for years, to pay high attention to the negative effect to the security environment for Russia resulted from the continuous eastward expansion of NATO, and in accordance with the principle of indivisible security, to put in place a balanced, effective and sustainable European security mechanism.


Thank you, Madam President.


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