|Remarks by Ambassador Geng Shuang at UNRWA Pledging Conference 2023|
China wishes to thank you for initiating this pledging conference. We also thank Secretary-General António Guterres and Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini for their briefings. I listened attentively to the statements by the two Palestinian students, which showed us the hope and strength brought by education.
For over 70 years, the Agency has played an irreplaceable and vital role in alleviating the humanitarian plight of Palestinian refugees by providing them with critical relief and protection. China fully recognizes and highly commends the work of the Agency, and welcomes the adoption by the GA of the resolution on the renewal of the Agency’s mandate with a majority of votes in December last year.
China notes with concern that the Agency has been in a deep financial crisis in recent years, and its ability to perform its duties has been severely limited. This is due to the impact of the fluctuating international aid, and more importantly, due to the turmoil in the Palestinian-Israeli situation, the deteriorating situation of the refugees, and rising humanitarian needs. China called for political support and financial guarantees for UNRWA and necessary help to host countries, including Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria. We also call for the lift of blockade on the Gaza Strip, the cessation of settlement activities in the occupied territory, and the avoidance of unilateral actions that exacerbate the plight of Palestinian refugees.
China has long been providing humanitarian and development assistance to Palestine, and has been providing assistance within our capacity to support the Agency in fulfilling its mandate. This year, China will again contribute one million US dollars to the Agency.
Becoming a refugee was not the choice of over five million Palestinians, still less be the future of one generation of Palestinians after another. The international community must always place the Palestinian question on top of the international agenda, and advance the two-State solution with a greater sense of urgency.
China always and firmly supports the just cause of the Palestinian people in restoring their legitimate national rights, and supports the establishment of an independent State of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital and on the basis of 1967 borders. Chinese President Xi Jinping has been sending congratulatory messages to the UN Conference in Commemoration of International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People for 10 years in a row, and on multiple occasions put forward China's proposals for advancing the settlement of the Palestinian question. Last December, the Riyadh Declaration of the China-Arab States Summit gave prominence to the Palestinian question, demonstrating the solidarity and consensus between China and Arab countries. China is ready to work with the international community and make positive contributions to the early achievement of a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the Palestinian question and the realization of lasting peace, universal security, and common prosperity in the Middle East.
Thank you, Mr. President.