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Remarks by Ambassador Geng Shuang at the UN Security Council Briefing on Syria

2022-12-21 15:31

Madam President, 

I thank Special Envoy Geir Pedersen and Under-Secretary-General Martin Griffiths for their briefings.

For some time now, the security situation in Syria has been turbulent. Türkiye has repeatedly pounded northern Syria with airstrikes and artillery shelling, and continues to threaten to launch ground actions. Israel has frequently attacked targets within the Syrian territory. Syria is a sovereign state. Any military operations on its soil without the consent of the Syrian Government, whatever the pretext, would constitute a violation of its sovereignty and territorial integrity. We call on Türkiye and Israel to immediately cease cross-border attacks, and find solutions through dialogue and consultation. Illegal presence of foreign troops in the Syrian territory must also end.

Proper settlement of the Syrian issue, at the end of the day, can only be achieved through political means. The sooner a political solution materializes, the earlier the people will be relieved from their suffering. Resolution 2254 represents international consensus on the Syrian political process, and must be fully implemented. We welcome Special Envoy Pedersen and his team engaging extensively with all parties on implementing Resolution 2254. We hope the constitutional committee will reconvene as soon as possible based on the Syrian-led and Syrian-owned principle. We support the Special Envoy’s step-for-step approach, and encourage him to continue to enhance communication with all parties on confidence building measures towards an early agreement. 

Madam President, 

Resolution 2642 will expire by January next year. It has played its part in easing Syria’s humanitarian situation. Relevant UN agencies have also contributed to its implementation. However, its comprehensive and effective implementation is still some way off.

Cross-border aid was an interim arrangement in response to some special circumstances. Eventually, it has to transition to cross-line aid in a gradual and orderly way. The international community must advance cross-line aid with the same vigor given to cross-border aid. Priority must be given to the assurances of supplies and funding for cross-line aid, with close coordination with all parties, especially the party in de-facto control of northwest Syria, so that it will become the primary channel of humanitarian relief for Syria. 

Early recovery projects will help cultivate on autogenous drivers for Syria’s development. In the past for five months, funding for such projects has improved, but are still far behind the needs of the Syrian people. China urges all donors to put the well-being of the entire Syrian population first, provide sufficient financial support with no strings attached to early recovery projects, and ensure the even-handed delivery across Syria. Explosive remnants of war have taken a heavy toll on the normal life and work of the Syrian people. We hope the relevant operations will be incorporated into the early recovery program without delay. 

Unilateral sanctions and excessive enforcement thereof run counter to the efforts of the Council and the international community in improving humanitarian access and increasing humanitarian resources in Syria. The Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights stated explicitly in her report that UCMs have exacerbated the humanitarian crisis in Syria. The Secretary-General also stated in his report that unilateral sanctions have impeded humanitarian work with regard to procurement and payments. Once again, China calls on the countries concerned to lift their UCMs against Syria without delay. 

I thank you, Madam President.

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