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Statement by Ambassador WU Haitao at the Security Council Meeting on the Political Process in Syria

2019-11-22 11:18

Madam President,

I would like to thank Special Envoy Mr. Pedersen for his briefing. I also listened to Ms. Al-Hallak’s remarks.

The Syria crisis has been going on for many years. The political process, counter-terrorism and the humanitarian issue are intertwined and need to be considered and addressed in a comprehensive manner. In the past month, the Syria political process has seen major developments. The first session of the Large Body of the Constitutional Committee and the 45-member Small Group have been successfully held. And the Small Group will hold the second and third round of discussions in Geneva soon. China welcomes such developments, commends Special Envoy Mr. Pedersen’s good offices and the constructive participation of all parties in Syria.

A political solution is the only way out for the Syria issue. This is a consensus by the international community. The creation of the Constitutional Committee is a good start for the Syria political process. We support the work of Mr. Pedersen, on the basis of the existing progress, to continue to promote the political process according to the “Syria-led and Syria-owned” principle and the Council resolution 2254. In this regard, there’s a need to listen carefully to the legitimate appeal of the Syria government, maintain the independence of the work of the Constitutional Committee and fully respect the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the country. Syria should not be divided or torn apart. We hope that parties in Syria use the discussions in the Constitutional Committee to increase mutual understanding and gradually build mutual trust. The Constitutional Committee members should prioritize the interests of the country and its people and reach a consensus as soon as possible. The international community, including the Security Council, should provide support in this regard and do more things that could help parties in Syria to reduce differences and create consensus.

Rampant terrorism is a major potential threat to the political solution to the Syria issue, which has significant negative impacts on its political process and its future. This deserves great attention by all parties and should be resolved. At present, the situation in northeastern Syria remains fragile. Relevant parties should avoid any action that might undermine the counterterrorism achievements. The priority is to jointly deal with the risk of the movement of terrorists and guard against the return of ISIS. The UN Secretariat should watch closely the counterterrorism situation in Syria and the terrorists on the move and carefully examine the issue of bringing terrorists to justice and propose recommendations. Idlib has become a breeding ground for terrorism, posing a threat to millions of civilians. This is a common challenge for the peace and security of Syria, the Middle East and the world as a whole. The international community should continue to, according to relevant Council resolutions and the international law, harmonize standards and fight terrorism in all its forms and make joint efforts to deal with the issue of foreign terrorist fighters.

While promoting the political process in Syria, we should make efforts to improve the country’s economic and humanitarian situation. The international community, including the UN, should adopt a comprehensive, objective and balanced perspective when it considers and addresses the Syrian humanitarian crisis. Syria is faced with economic sanctions, oil shortage, damaged infrastructure, shortage in reconstruction fund and other difficulties, which exacerbate the humanitarian crisis and have an acute impact on the food, clothing, housing and transport of its people. The large number of refugees have put economic and social pressure on its neighboring countries and are a destabilizing factor in the region. The provision of humanitarian aid to Syria should not come with any political preconditions. Any humanitarian relief actors on the ground in Syria should increase communication and coordination with the Syrian government.

China would like to reiterate its support to the political process in Syria and is ready to play a constructive role in the early resumption of peace, stability and development in Syria.

Thank you, Madam President.

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