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Statement by Counsellor Yao Shaojun During the General Debate of the Third Committee of the 69th Session of the General Assembly on Refugees

2014-11-05 23:05

Mr. President,

The Chinese delegation wishes to thank the High Commissioner for his reports and presentation this morning. We commend the High Commissioner and the UNHCR for their great efforts over the past year to promote international refugee protection and respond to emergency humanitarian crisis.

At present, amid the myriad challenges, both old and new, international refugee protection is fighting an uphill battle: major root causes, such as armed conflicts, poverty, social turbulence and natural disasters, are far from being removed; the protracted refugee problems continue to drag on; new refugee tides and humanitarian crises keep emergingacross the globe; and the number of refugees and IDPs has increased sharply. It doesn’t help that xenophobia against refugees is on the rise in some countries. Faced with all these, international humanitarian relief is overwhelmed. Against this backdrop, the international community musthave a heightened sense of urgency and responsibility in jointly addressing the refugee problem, dealing with both its symptoms and root causes.

First, it is essential to foster a peaceful and stable international and regional environment. In compliance with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, determinedefforts should be made to solve regional and international disputes by peaceful means, step up the good-offices and mediation efforts of both the UN and the various regional organizations, prevent and deescalate armed conflicts, so as to fundamentally alleviate the phenomenon of refugees and displaced persons.

Second, it is imperative to adhere to the spirit of international solidarity and burden-sharing. We agree with the High Commissioner’s opinion that the refugee protection should be linked with the development more closely.Capitalizing on the opportunity offered by the formulation of the post-2015 development agenda, countries should strive to establish a new type of global development partnership which is more equal and balanced. The international community should take practical measures and increase input to help developing countries achieve sustainable development, so as to achieve a permanent solution to the refugee problem. The developed countries in particular should fulfilltheirpromises by providing financial and technical assistance torefugee receiving countries.

Third, it is essential to enhance the authority and efficacy of refugee protection mechanisms. International refugee protection mechanisms should adhere to the principles of objectivity, impartiality and humanity and guard against politicization and abuse. While it is imperative to take seriously the protection of and assistance to such vulnerable groups as refugee women and children, equal attention should be paid to the reasonable requests of host countries. China supports the UNHCR in furthering internal reforms, rationalizing the distribution of resources, assisting developing countries in capacity-building, and improving the geographical representation of its staff. Coordination and cooperation among countries of origin, shelter, and resettlement and donor countries, as well as the UNHCR and other international agencies should be strengthened, so as to takeinternational refugee protection to a higher level.

Mr. President,

The Chinese Government always takes refugee protection seriously. While constantly improving domestic legislations in this field, China actively takes on international responsibilities and obligations commensurate with its level of development. In 2014, China’s annual contributions to UNHCR projects have increased to 800,000 US dollars from 250,000 dollars in the past.

China has provided humanitarian assistance to the Syrian refugees to the tune of230 million RMB yuan. In order to help the Horn of Africa deal with drought and famine, we have providedhumanitarian assistance worth of 443 million RMB yuan. To date, we have already provided assistance to the West African countries affected by the Ebola epidemic in the total value of 234 million RMB yuan, to be followed by fourth batch of aid worth no less than500 million RMB yuan. As we speak, humanitarian assistance worth of 80 million RMB yuan from China is on its way to South Sudan. We will also provide humanitarian assistance valued at60 million RMB yuan to Iraq, including the Kurdish region. China will continue to strengthen its cooperation with the UNHCR and together with other countries, contribute to international refugee protection.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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