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

2022-10-21 18:00

Mr. President,

The recent period has witnessed continued intensification of the conflict underground in Ukraine, the constantly deteriorating humanitarian situation and the ever bleaker prospects for peace, which China finds most concerning. The crisis nearly eight month long has taken the heavy toll on ordinary people, put the world especially developing countries under tremendous stress and exposed global economic development to severe shocks. We must prevent conflict from becoming ever more prolonged, expended and complicated, make every effort to mitigate its humanitarian consequences, contain its spillover effects, and work tirelessly together to promote the de-escalation and the early realization of ceasefire. Today, I wish to emphasize the following three imperatives:

First, to effectively comply with international humanitarian law. International humanitarian law is a code of conduct that all parties in the conflict must abide by. Civilians and civilian infrastructure should should be fully protected. And all parties should facilitate the evacuation of people and humanitarian relief. Nuclear power plants, energy pipelines, bridges and other critical infrastructure are of great importance to public safety and social stability and should not be the target of military attacks. All parties involved should exercise maximum restraint, avoid words and actions that exacerbate confrontation and cause miscalculation, so as to  prevent the conflict from further escalating and expanding and slide to a more dangerous brink.

Second, to step up humanitarian assistance. The nearly eight months of intense conflict have led to a severe shortage of supplies in many places, and basic public services such as water, electricity, heating, and medical care are difficult to secure. As winter approaches, millions of people, especially women, children and other vulnerable groups need to rely on humanitarian aid to make a living. China appreciates the efforts of international humanitarian agencies and Ukraine's neighboring countries to mitigate the humanitarian crisis and calls on the international community to continue to provide assistance to Ukraine under the principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence, and to continue to help its neighboring countries to share the pressure in order to ensure the proper resettlement of armed conflict affected people.

Third, to make every effort to contain the spillover effects.In the era of globalization, the implementation of all round, indiscriminate sanctions will only accelerate the transmission of the crisis, push up international commodity prices, destabilize the global industrial and supply chain and leave all countries in the world especially developing countries exposed to the deleterious impact. The international community should work together to maintain the uninterrupted operation of global food, energy and financial markets and remove political obstacles for international economic and trade cooperation. Maintaining and expanding the return of Ukrainian and Russian food and fertilizers to the global market is important for stabilizing global food prices and securing the supply of agricultural products. China supports the continued effective implementation of the Black Sea Grain Initiative and the memorandum on the export of Russian food and fertilizers.

Mr. President,

Peace is the fundamental solution to the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, and the only way to achieve long term stability in Ukraine and the region at large. No matter how great difficulties and challenges are, the door to the political settlement cannot be closed, the process of diplomatic negotiations cannot be stalled, and efforts to stop the war and promote talks cannot be slackened. The facts of the past eight months have proven that sanctions and pressure, bloc confrontation and political isolation are not effective ways to resolve crisis. The international community should focus on encouraging peace talks, and seeking a political solution by persuading the parties to resume peace talks and stop fighting at an early date, in an effort to achieve the soonest a peaceful solution to the crisis.

China's position on the Ukraine issue is as clear as it is consistent. We empathize with the Ukrainian people for their plight. China has put forward a six-point initiative on the humanitarian situation in Ukraine and the Cooperation Initiative on Global Food Security, and has provided batches of emergency humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and developing countries affected by the spillover effect. As a responsible country, China will continue to play a constructive role in promoting peace talks and to make positive contributions to alleviating the humanitarian crisis.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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