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Statement by Ambassador WU Haitao at the Security Council Open Meeting on the Humanitarian Situation in Syria

2020-02-27 07:17

Mr. President,

China welcomes you to New York to preside over the open meeting today. We thank ASG Mueller and Executive Director Fore of UNICEF for their briefings. China supports the United Nations in continuing its effective delivery of aid to civilians in Syria.

The Syrian political, economic and security situations are complicated, and its humanitarian situation remains grave. The international community should increase its humanitarian deliveries to Syria. The United Nations and the Security Council should have integrated measures to handle the Syrian humanitarian issue in a comprehensive and impartial manner.

I would like to emphasize the following points:

First, the international community should provide the United Nations with adequate funding and supplies, and continue to deliver humanitarian assistance to civilians throughout Syria. Years of war led to harsh living conditions for the Syrian people, who do no have the means to buy fuel, food and medicine. The international community should continue to provide necessary assistance to Syria. In addition, efforts should be made to stabilize the economy of the country so that the Syrian people can have their basic means to livelihood. In areas where there's relative security, the Syrian government has been fixing houses, medical and educational facilities, and clearing explosive remnants of war. These efforts are helpful to addressing the humanitarian situation in Syria.

Second, rooting out terrorist forces is a necessary requirement for ending the Syrian conflict. The international community should cooperate fully in a joint effort to bring terrorists to justice. The occupation of Idlib by terrorist forces and their systematic attacks on civilians, journalists, medical workers, and the especially acute problem of foreign terrorist fighters are major obstacles for the restoration of peace and stability in Syria. Efforts should be made to root out the safe havens the terrorists built for themselves in Syria in accordance with the Council resolutions and international law. China support the relevant parties in continuing their search for a comprehensive and long-term solution to the Idlib problem through dialogue and negotiation.

Third, the Syrian government takes the primary responsibility for improving the humanitarian situation in Syria. OCHA and other humanitarian agencies should strengthen their coordination and cooperation with the Syrian government, abide by the UN Charter, observe the humanitarian, neutral, impartial and independent principles, and fully respect the Syrian sovereignty and territorial integrity. Cross border humanitarian aid mechanism is a special modality of assistance in a given situation, and should be adjusted in light of the development on the ground. The permanent representative of Syria wrote to the President of the Council and the Secretary General, expressing his positive willingness for humanitarian deliveries. The Syrian government agreed to WHO's use of cross border points and multiple airports under the control of the government for the delivery of supplies, and approved the use of roadways within the territory of Syria for the delivery of medical supplies in the overall delivery of humanitarian aid with the participation of Syrian Red Cross and other UN humanitarian agencies. OCHA should respond positively to this proposal made by Syria.

Mr. President,

China pays close attention to the humanitarian situation in Syria. Since the start of the crisis, China delivered to Syria multiple batches of emergency food aid, and medical service, power equipment, office facilities, public transportation and personnel training among other categories of humanitarian assistance. China also signed economic and technical cooperation agreements with the Syrian government. We also cooperated with such aid agencies as the International Committee of Red Cross, providing what we can to the neighboring countries affected by the Syrian refugees. China would like to continue to lend its hand to the Syrian people, including refugees living outside Syria.

China categorically rejects the accusation by the United States. Since the start of the Syrian crisis, China has been committed to the diplomatic effort in bringing an end to this conflict at an early date and supporting a political solution to the Syrian issue. China has no selfish interest on the issue of Syria. We proceed from the fundamental interest of the Syrian people, make our judgement and determine our positions based on the merit of the case itself. China resolutely supports the legitimate government of Syria in safeguarding its own sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity. This is also conducive to the maintenance of peace and stability of the Middle East.

China has always been advocating for a comprehensive and impartial handling of the Syrian humanitarian issue, and requesting to observe the humanitarian, neutral, impartial and independent principles, as well as the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of the recipient country in providing humanitarian deliveries to Syria. These principles are commonly accepted by the international community, and they are not to be disputed. In discussing the Syrian humanitarian issue at the Council, China has been playing a constructive role right from the beginning. All countries are entitled to pronounce themselves and make recommendations on given issues and determine their voting positions on their own in accordance with their own principled positions. China opposes leveling wanton accusations by abusing the platform of the Security Council.

Mr. President,

Political solution is the fundamental means for improving the humanitarian situation in Syria. The political solution of the Syrian issue must be built on the safeguarding of the Syrian sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity. China supports Special Envoy Petersen in his effort to work on the basis of the Syrian-lead and Syrian-owned principle, use the platform of the Constitutional Committee, and advance a political solution that accommodates the concerns of all parties in accordance with Resolution 2254.

I thank you, President.

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