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

2023-08-24 18:00

Madam President,

China has elaborated on its position on the question of Ukraine many times before at Security Council. We have always stressed that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries should be safeguarded, the purposes and principles of UN Charter should be observed, the legitimate security concerns of all parties should be taken seriously, and all efforts conducive to a peaceful settlement of the crisis should be supported. Based on the abovementioned positions, we have been making efforts for peace. In connection with the current situation, I would like to stress the following four points.

First, every effort must be made for the cessation of hostilities. As President Xi Jinping said at the 15th meeting of the BRICS leaders, the Ukraine crisis, coming to where it is now, has complex causes, and the most pressing task now is to facilitate peace talks, promote the de-escalation and end of conflict, and to achieve peace. We believe that the international community should encourage the parties to exercise calm and restraint, meet each other halfway, seek consensus, strengthen the voice of reason for peace and negotiation, and explore ways to implement various peace initiatives to create conditions conducive to peace talks. What should be avoided is to add fuel to fire, to continue supplying weapons to the battlefield, to escalate unilateral sanctions, and to take any action that could cause the war to spiral out of control. The security of all states is indivisible. The Ukraine crisis has once again shown that the practices of Cold War mentality, provoking bloc confrontation, and seeking absolute security do not work. This approach will not help with the final settlement of the crisis. Rather, it will bring endless instability to the region, and will ultimately hurt oneself.

Second, every effort must be made to manage the spillover effects. The Ukraine crisis, compounded by other economic insecurity risks, has triggered crises and shocks in the global food, energy, and financial sectors, making post-pandemic recovery, especially growth in developing countries even more difficult. It remains an uphill task to realize SDGs. Major developed countries should take responsible economic and trade initiatives to ensure secure and smooth operation of the global supply and industrial chains, stop the abuse of unilateral sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction, and avoid the politicization and weaponization of economy. The Black Sea grain initiative should not be easily abandoned. We expect all parties to strive for the early resumption of the grain and fertilizer exports from Russia and Ukraine through dialogue and consultation. China stands ready to continue its support for the Secretary-Genearl’s efforts to this end.

Third, every efforts must be made to ensure the delivery of humanitarian assistance. The prolonged fighting has led to the destruction of many large scale infrastructure, the displacement of millions of people, and rising humanitarian needs. Under such circumstances, parties to the conflict must strictly abide by international humanitarian law, observe the principles of necessity, distinction, and proportionality, refrain from attacking civilians and civilian infrastructure, and ensure the provision of people's basic needs as well as the safety and security of life and property. I would like to reiterate that irresponsible transfer and use of cluster munitions could easily give rise to humanitarian disasters, and relevant parties must be very, very cautious.

Fourth, every effort must be made to guard against nuclear safety and security risks. Since the outbreak of the conflict, the safety and security of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant has been a major concern. Recently, sounds of explosions and gunshots were heard many times in the vicinity of the power plant and the surrounding areas. We should always remain vigilant against and attentive to nuclear safety and security risks. There is no winner in a nuclear war. On the nuclear issue, all parties need the maximum restraint and the reason, abide by the nuclear safety convention and other international laws, bear in mind their own future and the future of humanity, strictly observe the bottom line of nuclear safety, stay clear of the red line of nuclear war, and work together to manage crisis and avoid manmade nuclear accidents. China supports the IAEA’s continued constructive role for the safety and security of nuclear facilities.

Thank you, Madam President.

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