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Remarks by Ambassador Zhang Jun at the UN Security Council Briefing on the Situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian Question

2023-12-08 13:38

Mr. President,

I thank Secretary-General Guterres for his crucial briefing a moment ago. In his letter to the Council president on December 6, the SG invoked Article 99 of the UN Charter and brought to the attention of the Security Council the situation in Gaza, which may aggravate existing threats to international peace and security. The SG has just once again raised a sobering warning and appeal, fully demonstrating the gravity and urgency of the current situation. It once again demonstrates his sense of responsibility. The situation and tasks in front of the Council are very clear and definitive, that is to act immediately to achieve a ceasefire, protect the civilians, and avoid a human catastrophe on a larger scale. The draft resolution tabled by the UAE on behalf of the Arab states reflects the universal call of the international community and represents the right direction for the restoration of peace. China fully supports this and has joined in co-sponsoring this draft resolution.

At this juncture, only a ceasefire can save lives and avoid a bigger human catastrophe. With the constant bombing and shelling, there is no safe zone there. The war in Gaza has claimed the lives of over 17,000 innocent civilians. Over one million people have fled from the north to the south, only to find there's nowhere to hide and nowhere to go. This human catastrophe is too great for words to describe, and any waiting or delay means more death.

At this juncture, only a ceasefire can avoid a regional havoc. The negative effect of the conflict is spilling over in an accelerated manner. The West Bank, the Lebanese-Israeli border, and the Syrian-Israeli border have frequently sounded the alarm. The crisis with a greater scope of impact is imminent, and tolerance or connivance is pushing regional peace and security towards a precipice.

At this juncture, only a ceasefire can create the necessary conditions for reviving the political prospects for the two-State solution. The two-State solution is the fundamental way toward the peaceful coexistence of two States, Palestine and Israel, and the lasting peace in the Middle East. Any action that allows the current conflict to drag on will only sow the seeds of hatred between the two sides and make the situation further deteriorate, and do more damage to the political prospects of the two-State solution.

At this juncture, only a ceasefire befits the due role of the Council. The international community eagerly looks to the Council to assume its primary function in the maintenance of international peace and security. The Council has no other option but to act urgently without any procrastination to bring about a ceasefire and protect civilians. Any hesitation or excuse would be irresponsible

China strongly calls upon all members to adopt a responsible approach, support the Council to make the right decision between war and peace and between life and death. We must act for peace and act to save lives.

I thank you, Mr. President.

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