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Remarks by Ambassador Geng Shuang at the UN Security Council Briefing on the Humanitarian Issue of Ukraine

2022-12-06 22:00

Madam President, 

I wish to thank Under-Secretary-General Martin Griffiths for his briefing.

At present, the crisis in Ukraine is still unfolding, the humanitarian situation is deteriorating, and the spillover effects continue to expand. There is no winner in conflicts and wars, while bloodshed and confrontations will only bring suffering to the people. Resolving the crisis in Ukraine through political means is in the best interest of the countries concerned, and in the common interest of all countries of the world. China calls on the international community to support all efforts in seeking peaceful resolution of the Ukraine crisis, step up good offices and mediation, and encourage parties concerned to restart negotiations as soon as possible, so as to achieve cessation of hostilities at an early date.

Madam President, 

In the face of a global and compound crisis such as the one in Ukraine, we must adhere to the people-centered approach, prioritize humanity, and spare no effort in mitigating the spillover effects of the crisis. In this connection, I would like to highlight the following four points.

First, reducing humanitarian suffering. Parties to the conflict should strictly uphold international humanitarian law, avoid launching attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure, safeguard the normal operation of key public services such as energy, healthcare and education, and resolutely eliminate security risks in nuclear facilities and materials. The recent widespread power outage in Moldova was a cause for concern. All relevant parties shall exercise prudence and restraint by preventing the spillover of the war to its neighbors, in particular, avoiding misunderstanding and miscalculations, while being vigilant of the risk of bloc confrontation.

Second, stepping up humanitarian assistance. The people of Ukraine are experiencing the dual challenges of war and a tough winter, with severe shortages of water, electricity and heating supplies, and a significant increase in humanitarian needs. The international community and humanitarian agencies should help Ukraine repair damaged infrastructure as soon as possible, provide winter supplies and heating equipment to the Ukrainian people, and address the basic livelihood needs of vulnerable groups such as refugees and displaced persons. Children are most vulnerable to shocks and injuries in armed conflicts, and should therefore be given priority protection. China calls for full consideration of the special needs of children in humanitarian operations, the provision of targeted assistance, and the prevention and elimination of violations against children.

Third, managing the spillover effects. The current global food and energy crises are not about production and demand, but about the supply chain and the disruption of international cooperation. China resolutely opposes the attempt to politicize food and energy issues and use them as tools and weapons, and calls for the removal of unilateral sanctions. Instead, we should maintain the momentum of global economic recovery, and reduce the impact of the crisis on developing countries’ implementation of the 2030 Agenda. We are pleased to see the renewal and continued implementation of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, and welcome Russia’s donation of fertilizers to developing countries with food shortages. We thank the UN for coordinating this effort.

Fourth, respecting the rights of prisoners of war. According to the Third Geneva Convention, prisoners of war are entitled to humane treatment and protection from torture, ill treatment, and other harm. Parties to the conflict should strictly uphold relevant international law, and respect the basic rights of POWs. China welcomes the recent repeated exchanges of POWs between Russia and Ukraine, and commends the UAE’s invitation to both sides to discuss POWs and ammonia exports. We hope these positive contacts and interactions will help both sides build mutual trust and lay the foundation for the gradual resumption of negotiations.

Madam President,

I would like to reiterate that on the issue of Ukraine, China has always been standing on the side of peace, dialogue, and humanity. We will continue to work with all peace-loving countries to advocate the resolution of conflict through negotiations and the settlement of disputes through consultations. We support all efforts that are conducive to a political solution to the crisis in Ukraine, and to the restoration of peace and stability in Europe.

Thank you, Madam President.

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