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Explanatory Statement by Ambassador Wu Haitao after Voting on the Resolution on Yemen

2020-02-26 12:13

Mr. President,

The situation on the ground in Yemen has deteriorated recently. The political settlement is faced with challenges and the humanitarian situation remains dire.

As extending the Security Council's targeted sanctions against Yemen and the mandate of the Panel of Experts is conducive to advancing the political settlement of the Yemeni issue, China is in principle in favor of it and hopes that the Council will adopt a related technical rollover resolution.

Over the past few days, China has taken an active part in the consultations on the draft resolution and proposed many amendments to the text, in the hope that it will reflect the broadest possible consensus of the members of the Security Council, avoid introducing complex factors and maintain the unity of the Council.

Regrettably, the draft resolution just voted on failed to meet China's concerns. As such, China has to abstain.

First, the draft asks the Panel of Experts to study and develop a list of commercially available components to be used to assemble items such as unmanned aerial vehicle. The language is not specific enough. The new text gives appropriate limits and makes it clear that this request should not have adverse impact on legitimate commercial activities. The Panel should strictly observe the mandate and ensure that its work serves to effectively restrict activities of sanctioned entities and individuals, avoiding abuse of the mandate. Besides, the parties should have had full discussion at the Sanctions Committee level.

Second, the draft made some unnecessary changes to the designation criteria. China agrees with expressing concern over the recruitment of child soldiers and conflict-related sexual violence in light of the actual situation. However, the recruitment of child soldiers and sexual violence in conflict are already included in the existing resolution under the criteria of "violation of international human rights and humanitarian laws". The separate listing of these two acts has not been fully discussed by the Sanctions Committee and does not comply with practices of the Sanctions Committee. China therefore has concerns over the hasty change of the current designation criteria.

To conclude, China wants to emphasize that most members of the Security Council, China included, hope that the political process in Yemen will be started at an early date and do not want to see the Yemeni issue getting entangled in the already complex regional dynamics. The sanctions measures and the work of the Sanctions Committee should serve the overall goal of a political settlement, demonstrate more constructiveness and avoid adding to the tensions in the region.

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