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

2024-05-30 12:44

President, 

I thank Special Coordinator Tor Wennesland for his briefing. 

Almost eight months have passed since the outbreak of the conflict in Gaza. As the siege and attacks on civilians continue and the unprecedented humanitarian disaster intensifies, the people of Gaza are deeply mired in despair and the situation has long been precarious. Allowing the fighting in Gaza to continue will only deepen the humanitarian catastrophe and plunge the entire region into a greater integrated turmoil. The international community, the UN Security Council in particular, must take further actions to promote an immediate ceasefire, save lives, and alleviate the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza.

For some time now, the international community has been closely following the situation in Rafah and has repeatedly called for an immediate ceasefire. The Security Council has discussed it many times and has explicitly issued a strong signal that military offensive in Rafah must stop. The International Court of Justice delivered an order demanding Israel to immediately halt its military offensive in Rafah, in conformity with the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. However, despite the strong opposition of the international community, Israel bombed more than ten IDP camps in Gaza, resulting in the death of a large number of innocent civilians. China strongly condemns this. China supports the draft resolution circulated by Algeria yesterday, which responds to the overwhelming call of the international community and represents the minimum action the Council should take at this time. We hope all members will put aside political calculations, prioritize saving lives, and support its adoption by the Council as soon as possible. 

Concrete actions must be taken to ease the humanitarian disaster in Gaza. At the Rafah crossing, on the one side, more than 2000 trucks loaded with humanitarian supplies are anxiously waiting for access, while on the other side are millions of people struggling with hunger, pain, sickness, and despair. The relief may seem to be close at hand, but it is out of reach because of man-made barriers. China firmly opposes the politicization of humanitarian issues, the use of hunger as a weapon, and the use of humanitarian assistance as a bargaining chip. Israel should effectively implement its obligations as the occupying power by immediately opening all land crossings and ensuring adequate and expeditious access for humanitarian supplies, the safety of humanitarian agencies and personnel, and the safe and orderly distribution of humanitarian supplies. The repeated attacks on UNRWA facility in the West Bank must be thoroughly investigated, and the perpetrators must be held accountable. 

The fundamental solution to the Middle East question is the implementation of the two-State solution. It is the long-cherished dream of the Palestinians to create an independent state and the historical injustice they have suffered should not be perpetuated. China calls for greater international and regional diplomatic efforts to reshape the credible multilateral process and revitalize the political prospects for the two-State solution. China proposes the convening of a more broad-based, more authoritative, and more effective international peace conference to work out a timetable and roadmap for implementing the two-State solution. We support Palestine’s full membership in the UN at an early date.

President, 

The 10th Ministerial Conference of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum will be held in Beijing tomorrow. The leaders of Bahrain, Egypt, Tunisia, and the UAE are currently visiting China. China will continue in-depth discussions on the question of Palestine with the leaders and foreign ministers of the Arab countries who are visiting China and participating in the conference and will make our common voice heard. The goal is to end the conflict in Gaza as soon as possible, and to achieve peace, while for the international community to implement the two-State solution with greater determination and more concrete actions, so as to bring about lasting peace and stability in the Middle East. 

Thank you, President.

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