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Explanation of Vote by Ambassador Zhang Jun on the Draft Resolutions on Extending Cross-border Humanitarian Deliveries to Syria

2022-07-08 14:24

Mr. President, 

On the two resolutions put to vote earlier, China abstained from voting on the first one, and voted in favor of the second. We regret that no consensus was reached on the resolution on the extension of authorization on humanitarian assistance in Syria. I would like to emphasize the following points. 

First, the humanitarian situation Syria continues to face challenges. China always supports the UN and the international community in carrying out humanitarian assistance to the Syrian people in accordance with the principles of humanity, neutrality, and impartiality. China is also actively providing various types of assistance to Syria through various channels, playing a constructive role in improving the local humanitarian situation and overcoming the difficulties in its economy and people’s livelihood.

Second, China has reiterated many times that to resolve the humanitarian issue in Syria, we must fully respect the sovereignty of Syria and the ownership of the Syrian Government, and cross-line relief should become the main channel for humanitarian assistance in Syria. The Security Council must put forward specific requirements on improving the efficiency and scale of cross-line relief, and push all parties to strengthen relevant capacity building, effectively ensure the safety of relief channels, and support the work of international humanitarian agencies. 

Third, the cross-border humanitarian assistance mechanism is a temporary arrangement based on the special situation in Syria. The Security Council should assess the effectiveness and applicability of the mechanism in a timely manner in light of the development on the ground, and make corresponding adjustments. The Security Council must come up with a clear timetable for the termination of cross-border delivery as soon as possible, and advance the gradual transition from cross-border relief to a cross-line approach. The specific duration of the Council’s extension of the mandate should leave room for the necessary flexibility for the Council to make timely assessment and adjustments. 

Fourth, early recovery projects can bring self-generated impetus to the recovery and development of the Syrian economy. Under the current situation, it is necessary to increase input in a targeted manner, and relevant donors should give priority to providing unconditional and sufficient financial support for this, so that more projects can be implemented as soon as possible. The Council must make a tangible efforts to this end. 

Fifth, unilateral sanctions have greatly weakened the Syrian Government’s ability to raise resources and carry out reconstruction, which is the most important obstacle to improving the humanitarian situation in Syria. China once again urges relevant countries to immediately and comprehensively lift unilateral sanctions against Syria to provide maximum convenience for humanitarian activities in Syria. The Security Council should make a clear request in this regard. 

Mr. President, 

The mandate of Security Council Resolution 2585 expires on July 10. We still have some time. And we also have many bases for consensus. We have also heard a lot about caring for the humanitarian situation in Syria and caring for the suffering of the Syrian people. We call on all parties not to give up, to continue the consultations, and increase mutual trust, demonstrate greater flexibility, and find a practical solution for the arrangements after the mandate expires. 

Thank you, Mr. President.

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