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Explanation of Vote by Ambassador Zhang Jun on the UN Security Council Resolution on the Gaza Ceasefire

2024-03-25 12:07

Mr. President,

China voted in favor of the draft resolution that has just been put to the vote. We thank Algeria, Mozambique, and other elected Council members for their efforts.

Last Friday, the Security Council voted on the other draft resolution proposed by the United States on the situation in Gaza. China together with Algeria and Russia voted against it. A comparison of the two drafts shows the differences. The current draft is unequivocal and correct in its direction, demanding an immediate ceasefire, while the previous one has been evasive and ambiguous. The current draft demands an unconditional ceasefire, while the previous one has set preconditions for a ceasefire. The current draft reflects the general expectations of the international community and enjoys the collective support of the Arab states, while the previous one has been jointly rejected by the Arab states. The differences between the two drafts boil down to nothing but whether there should be an immediate and unconditional ceasefire and whether the collective punishment of the people in Gaza should be allowed to continue. On this issue, China, like most members of the international community, has been very clear from the very outset. Whether we voted against it last Friday, or in favor of it today, our vote has been based on our consistent position and proposition.

After repeated vetoes of Council actions, the United States finally decided to stop obstructing the Council's demand for an immediate ceasefire. However, the US still tried to find all kinds of excuses to make accusations against China. The eyes of the international community are discerning. The accusations by the US are untenable. On the contrary, it’s because of China and other countries concerned upholding principles and justice, that we forced the US to realize that it cannot, and is unable to continue to obstruct the efforts of the Council to take the decisive step in the right direction. In the end, justice prevails.

Mr. President,

Nearly six months after the outbreak of the Gaza conflict, over 32,000 innocent civilians have lost their lives. For the lives that have already perished, the Council resolution today comes too late. But for the millions of people in Gaza who remain mired in an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe, this resolution, if fully and effectively implemented, could still bring long-awaited hope. Security Council resolutions are binding. We call on the parties concerned to fulfill their obligations under the United Nations Charter and to take due action as required by the resolution. We expect the state with significant influence to play a positive role on the party concerned, including by using all necessary and effective means at their disposal to support the implementation of the resolution.

To this end, all harm against civilians must cease immediately, and the offensive against Gaza must be stopped at once. A ceasefire during the month of Ramadan is only the first step that must serve as a basis leading to a permanent sustainable ceasefire and the early return of the people of Gaza who are forced to flee their homes.

At the same time, the blockade of Gaza and the man-made barriers to access of humanitarian supplies must be lifted immediately to ensure that humanitarian supplies can enter Gaza in sufficient quantities expeditiously to reach people in need in a safe and timely manner. We appreciate Secretary-General Guterres and UN humanitarian agencies for their efforts. Israel must fully cooperate to open Rafah and other land crossings. UNRWA is indispensable and irreplaceable for the people of Gaza to receive international humanitarian assistance. We urge all parties to fully restore funding to UNRWA as soon as possible. We categorically reject Israel's recent vicious campaign of attacks against UNRWA and the United Nations system as a whole.

We welcome the efforts of Egypt, Qatar, and the United States to promote the release of the hostages and expect the speedy release of all hostages and detainees and their early return home.

Mr. President,

The Security Council must continue to follow closely the situation in Gaza and get ready for further actions when necessary to ensure the timely and full implementation of the resolution. China will continue to make unremitting efforts together with all parties to bring an early end to the fighting in Gaza, alleviate the humanitarian catastrophe, and implement the two-State solution.

I thank you, Mr. President.

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