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Statement by Minister Counselor Ms. Wang Hongbo at the General Debate at the Humanitarian Segment of the UN Economic and Social Council Substantive Session of 2014

2014-06-25 00:07

Mr. Chairman,

The Chinese delegation aligns itself with the statement of the distinguished representative of Bolivia on behalf of G77 and China, thanks the Secretary General for the report he submitted under the item of Humanitarian Affairs, and USG Amos for her introduction of the said report.

In recent years, natural disasters and armed conflicts around the world, and international economic, financial and food crises have exacerbated the global humanitarian situation. The diversification of humanitarian assistance actors has made it more complicated and difficult to coordinate and manage humanitarian action. The UN humanitarian system is facing more severe challenges in funding, speed of response and coordination. There is an urgent need for the international community to draw on past experiences and lessons, leverage new technology and new methods to adapt to changes in order to strengthen the effectiveness of humanitarian relief action and address the root causes of humanitarian needs. China would like to emphasize the following points in this regard:

First, the UN humanitarian assistance must abide by the purposes of the UN Charter and the basic principles set forth in the GA Resolution 46/182, respect the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the recipient countries, and comply with international law and the laws of the host country. China opposes politicization of humanitarian issues and stands for non-militarization of humanitarian assistance.

Second, the peace and development efforts on the part of developing countries should be vigorously supported to address the root causes of humanitarian crisis. Over the recent years, humanitarian crises caused by armed conflicts have kept increasing. In many countries and regions, these conflicts result from acute economic, social and environmental problems due to protracted poverty and underdevelopment of the developing countries. The international community should, on the basis of full respect for the specific circumstances, needs and choices of recipient countries, better complement humanitarian assistance with development efforts, honor its commitment to the developing countries regarding their economic growth and sustainable development so as to address the root causes of their problems in economic and social development, and help realize and maintain lasting peace.

Third, technological innovation in humanitarian action should be promoted to effectively strengthen the capacity building of developing countries. Recent years have witnessed wide utilization in humanitarian relief work of new information technologies such as wireless communication, internet and disaster early warning messaging. We welcome the fact that relevant UN agencies are continuing to assess and improve the way in which humanitarian action can be systematically innovated in a sustainable manner, and to promote the sharing of relevant innovative tools, processes and approaches. At the same time, there exists a wide gap between the developed and the developing countries in the use of new technologies. Technological deficiency is undermining and constraining the effort and capacity of developing countries in disaster prevention, disaster response and post-disaster recovery. We therefore appeal to the international community to strengthen financial and technical assistance to the developing countries, support their innovation efforts, and promote the ownership of innovation results by recipient countries, localities and communities.

Fourth, the UN should continue to strengthen its role in leading and coordinating humanitarian assistance. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs plays an indispensable role in fundraising appeals and operational coordination, and has enhanced dialogue and cooperation with member states, to which China wishes to express its appreciations. Winning the trust and support of governments and peoples of the recipient countries helps ensure effective humanitarian action. To this end, we encourage further dialogue and coordination between the UN and its member states, recipient countries in particular, on humanitarian policies and practices to increase participation of member states in policy formulation. A more consultative approach of humanitarian assistance is needed which takes into full consideration the circumstances of countries in question and aims at increasing mutual trust. Against this background, China welcomes the Secretary General's proposal of convening a World Humanitarian Summit in 2016 to share knowledge, experience and best practices, and adapt humanitarian action to future challenges.

Mr. Chairman,

The Chinese government attaches great importance to international cooperation in the field of humanitarian activities, actively participates in multilateral and bilateral humanitarian assistance, and shares experiences and technology in disaster response with other developing countries. My government will continue to adhere to international humanitarian principles, support the UN in its role as a coordinator and a hub for humanitarian activities, and play its part in strengthening the effective functioning of international humanitarian system, and in assisting affected countries in disaster response and rebuilding. 

 Thank you, Mr. Chairman.






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