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Explanation of Vote by Ambassador Zhang Jun on the Security Council Draft Resolution Presented by Copenholders on the Mandate Renewal of Cross-border Mechanism in Syria

2020-07-10 00:21

China supports the international community in stepping up humanitarian relief efforts in Syria on the basis of respecting Syria's sovereignty and territorial integrity. We encourage the relevant parties to push for progress in cross-line humanitarian operations. China does not object to retaining the cross-border mechanism at this stage. Cross-border operations should strictly follow the guiding principles of humanitarian emergency assistance set out in the GA resolution 46/182. Meanwhile, the cross-border mechanism should be adjusted accordingly in light of the developments on the ground.

Years of illegal sanctions have wreaked havoc on Syria's economic and social development, exacerbated the humanitarian crisis, and weakened Syria's capacity to respond to COVID-19. Secretary-General Guterres and Special Envoy Pedersen have repeatedly called on the relevant countries to lift unilateral coercive measures. These appeals are supported by the vast majority of UN member states.

China has repeatedly emphasized to the copenholders that the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures must be taken into account in the Security Council's draft resolution on the mandate renewal of the cross-border mechanism in Syria, and there should be necessary actions on the issue of unilateral coercive measures. However, the copenholders ignored the appeals of member states and refused to accept China's proposed amendments. Under such circumstances, China was left no choice but to vote against the draft resolution. China once again calls upon the Security Council to address this critical issue, and urges the relevant countries to immediately lift the unilateral coercive measures imposed on Syria. We also request an objective assessment by OCHA on the impact of unilateral coercive measures on the humanitarian situation in Syria to be presented in a comprehensive report to the Security Council.

The United States claims that it cares about the suffering of Syrian civilians, but it has imposed additional illegal sanctions on Syria through the so-called "Caesar Act", stifling the livelihoods of the Syrian people. The United States claims that there are so-called humanitarian exemptions from the unilateral coercive measures. However, years of illegal sanctions have severely undermined Syria's ability to mobilize resources, develop the economy, and improve people's well-being. This can by no means be resolved by the so-called humanitarian exemptions. The United States claims to uphold the spirit of humanitarianism, but it has politicized humanitarian issues and ruthlessly bashed the government and people of Syria, devastating livelihoods of the Syrian people. The role the US has played on the Syrian issue and the crime it has committed in Syria are clear to the people of the world.

China emphasizes once again that we should take a holistic and comprehensive approach on the Syrian issue, considering the political, counter-terrorism, security and humanitarian aspects altogether. We urge all parties to strengthen dialogue and negotiation, actively promote a "Syrian-led, Syrian-owned" political process, and work together to achieve a peaceful, just and proper settlement of the Syrian issue at an early date.

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