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Statement by Ambassador Zhang Jun after the Voting on a Draft Resolution on the Humanitarian Issue in Syria

2019-09-19 01:42

Mr. President,

China voted against the draft resolution on the humanitarian issue in Syria that has been put to a vote just now.

The Security Council closely follows the humanitarian situation in Syria and has convened meetings to this end many times. Regarding the Idlib issue, starting on the 31 of August, Russia and Syrian government have implemented ceasefire in Idlib, which has been maintained in general. The diplomatic efforts by relevant parties of the international community is ongoing and the situation of Idlib is developing towards a positive direction. Under such a context, to steamroll a draft resolution that has major controversies to a vote is clearly unconstructive, and this move will not achieve the expected result.

Terrorist organizations continue to expand their sphere of influence in the northwest region of Syria. This is the source of the humanitarian issue in Idlib. It also poses a grave risk to the safety and security in the region. The Council should be united in tackling this grave challenge together. China has constructively participated in the negotiation of the text and has proposed reasonable revisions. However, unfortunately the draft resolution just put to a vote did not touch upon the essence of the issue and did not address China's core concerns. For this reason, China voted against the draft resolution.

The humanitarian situation in Syria is a very complicated and sensitive issue. All categories of humanitarian issues in Syria should be considered in a comprehensive manner and be addressed in a balanced way, instead of only selectively focusing on certain issues, much less to politicize humanitarian issues. The international community must fully respect the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Syria; fully listen to the views of the Syrian government; and seek a comprehensive solution to the Syria issue through political means. At the same time, we should pay high attention to the post war reconstruction of Syria and its economic and social development and to help Syrian people to lead peaceful, stable and happy lives.

China also attaches great importance to the humanitarian situation in Syria and that why Russia and China proposed an alternative draft resolution, which has taken into consideration of the humanitarian and counter-terrorism issues of Syria in a comprehensive manner, this draft includes the call for observance of international law in counter-terrorism and assurance of humanitarian access and reflects the humanitarian needs of the Syrian people. We hope that all Council members will support this draft resolution.

China firmly rejects the groundless accusation made by the UK and the US against China. China has the right to make an independent decision on how it votes according to the rights and wrongs of a situation and preceding from the interests of the Syrian people. No country has the right to make willful accusation on this. I would like to point out that the current situation of Syria and the sufferings of the Syrian people are exactly the results of the wrongful conducts by some countries. It is these countries that should reflect on their own behavior.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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