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

2022-03-17 17:15

Mr. President, 

I thank Under-Secretary-General DiCarlo, Assistant High Commissioner Mazou and Director-General Ghebreyesus for their briefings. 

China is deeply worried about the worsening humanitarian situation in Ukraine, and saddened by the reported increase in civilian casualties and refugees. The pressing task now is to call for maximum restraint from all parties, and to ensure safety and security of all civilians, including women and children, and meet their basic humanitarian needs, so as to prevent the occurrence of a larger scale humanitarian crisis. China supports the work by the relevant parties in maintaining communication, ensuring safe and unimpeded humanitarian corridors, and further facilitating personnel evacuation and humanitarian assistance. 

The number of refugees and displaced persons caused by the conflict is still on the rise, bringing huge impact on Ukraine and the surrounding countries. China supports OCHA, UNHCR and WHO, among others, in actively conducting operations and mobilizing the international community to assist all those in need. In the recent past, some people of African or Middle East descent encountered difficulties during evacuation. This should be taken seriously and addressed properly. All refugees, regardless of color, race or religion, shall be accorded the necessary protection under international refugee law. 

China pays high attention to the humanitarian situation in Ukraine, and has put forward a six-point proposal. The Red Cross Society of China has provided Ukraine with three batches of humanitarian supplies, with the third one containing milk powder and quilts for children, specifically helping the Red Cross Society of Ukraine assist displaced children affected by the conflict. We welcome any initiative or measure from any party that contributes to alleviating and resolving the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. The Security Council bears the primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security, and should therefore play a positive role in easing the humanitarian situation in Ukraine. China hopes that the Council can stay united on the humanitarian issue and demonstrate a constructive attitude. 

Mr. President, 

The international community shares the common wish for ceasefire at an early date to alleviate the situation on the ground and prevent civilian casualties. This is also the expectation of China. To date, Russia and Ukraine have held four rounds of negotiations. Keeping the negotiations going means there is a chance for ceasefire, and that there is a chance for a peaceful future. China remains committed to promoting peace through negotiations. We support the UN and the parties concerned in vigorously carrying out good offices. We also hope that all parties will do more to facilitate peace talks, and not to add fuel to fire. Facts have proven that wanton use of sanctions will not solve any problem, but will instead create new problems. Given the sluggish recovery in global economy, ever-escalating sanctions are undermining the stability of international industrial chain and supply chain, thus exacerbating food and energy crises, damaging people's livelihood in all countries, developing countries in particular, and triggering new humanitarian consequences. This is also an issue that the Security Council shall pay attention to when addressing the humanitarian issue of Ukraine. 

Thank you, Mr. President.

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