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Remarks by Ambassador Geng Shuang at the UN Security Council Briefing on the Humanitarian Issue in Ukraine

2022-09-07 18:40

Mr. President.

The unresolved Ukraine crisis and the worsening humanitarian situation have inflicted a heavy toll on the ordinary people. It is worrying that the conflict shows no sign of ending yet. With a long winter approaching, Ukraine and neighboring countries are facing new challenges on an enormous scale. We must therefore step up our actions, make even greater efforts for peace, and go all out to avoid further deterioration of the humanitarian situation.

As a principle, under any circumstances, civilian and civilian infrastructure should never be targeted in a conflict. The protection of civilians must come first. The parties concerned should strictly abide by international humanitarian law, protect the legitimate rights and interests of refugees and displaced persons, especially women and children, support the work of international humanitarian agencies, facilitate the evacuation of personnel, and cooperate with aid operations. 

China commends Ukraine’s neighboring countries for providing millions of refugees with shelter, humanitarian assistance, and social services. The international community should continue to lend a helping hand to Ukraine and its neighbors, mitigate the pressure on relief capacity, bring hope to more people in need, and create necessary conditions for voluntary return.

The safety and security of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant concerns the health and well-being of hundreds of millions of people in Ukraine and the entire region. And any accident must not be allowed. We call on the parties concerned to earnestly implement the seven pillars proposed by IAEA Director General Grossi, and refrain from taking any action that may endanger nuclear safety and security. We welcome the IAEA mission’s visit of the ZNPP last week, and appreciate the continued on-site presence of the IAEA experts. We encourage the IAEA to maintain communication with all parties on relevant issues.

Ukraine’s humanitarian situation has always been close to our heart. With this in mind, China has put forward a six-point initiative to prevent the large-scale humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, as well as an initiative on international food security cooperation. We encourage Russia and Ukraine to maintain communication and cooperation on humanitarian issues, and support the UN and international humanitarian agencies in providing assistance to Ukraine and neighboring countries on the basis of neutrality, impartiality, and non-politicization. We have also been calling for and promoting the return of Ukrainian and Russian food products and fertilizers to the international market. The Chinese Government has provided three batches of humanitarian supplies to Ukraine, a concrete action that brought much needed aid to the Ukrainians caught in the conflict. We hope that these supplies, including infant formula, quilts, and moisture-proof mats, will help more people get through the looming winter.

Mr. President, 

History has repeatedly proven that diplomatic efforts, negotiation and communication are the only viable way to resolve conflicts and crises. China once again calls on the parties concerned to maintain engagement, explore the possibility of a political settlement, and accumulate conditions for an early cessation of hostilities and the restoration of peace and stability. All sides should give up political self-interest, refrain from intensifying tensions, creating divisions or inciting confrontation, and make concrete efforts to resolve the Ukraine crisis.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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