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Explanation of Vote by Ambassador Zhang Jun on the Security Council Resolution Extending the Authorization for Cross-Border Humanitarian Assistance to Syria

2023-01-09 12:00

Mr. President, 

China voted in favor of the draft resolution of the Security Council on extending the authorization for cross-border humanitarian assistance to Syria. We welcome the efforts by Brazil and Switzerland as co-penholders, as well as the previous efforts by Norway and Ireland. At the same time, we hope that the Security Council and relevant UN agencies will seize the opportunity of the extension to comprehensively sum up the experience and shortcomings in the implementation of the resolution in the past six months, so as to ensure its full and effective implementation in the future and make greater contributions to continuously improving the humanitarian situation of all Syrians. 

First, the sovereignty of Syria and the ownership of the Syrian Government must be fully respected. Cross-border assistance is a temporary arrangement made under special circumstances, and should ultimately transition, in an orderly manner, to cross-line assistance, so that the latter will become the main channel for humanitarian assistance to Syria. To this end, the frequency and the size of convoys of cross-line assistance in northwest Syria must be significantly increased, and cross-line assistance to the Rukban refugee camps should resume as early as possible. All parties should ensure adequate supplies and funding for cross-line assistance, and step up coordination with relevant parties, in particular the parties in de facto control of northwest Syria, so as to effectively improve the access environment for cross-line assistance.

Second, vigorous efforts must be made for quality and efficiency gains in early recovery projects. At present, the overall funding for early recovery projects needs to be improved. Early recovery projects in different sectors are seeing mixed progress, and there are major differences in project implementation among different regions. China urges all donors to put the well-being of all Syrians first, and promptly and properly resolve the aforementioned problems. The removal of explosive remnants of war is important for restoring the normal work and life of the Syrian people, and should be included in the scope of early recovery as quickly as possible,

Third, unilateral sanctions impede humanitarian access in Syria, restrict its access to humanitarian resources, and run counter to the efforts by the Council and the international community to improve humanitarian access in and increase humanitarian resources for Syria. The Secretary-General’s report also points out that unilateral sanctions inhibit humanitarian agencies from procuring supplies and disbursing funds. China once again urges the relevant countries to immediately and fully lift the unilateral sanctions on Syria.

Thank you, Mr. President,

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