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

2023-07-26 21:50

Madam President,

I thank Assistant Secretary-General Khiari for his briefing.

Over the past period of time, the situation on the ground in Ukraine has been escalating, conflict and confrontation have continued to expand, civilian casualties have been increasing, the damage to important civilian facilities has become more severe, and there seems to be no end in sight to the war. China is deeply concerned about this. Let me make three points.

First, alleviating the suffering of the people and preventing the escalation of the situation is a matter of utmost urgency. China calls on both parties to the conflict to abandon the logic of military confrontation and to exercise calm and restraint in order to prevent the conflict from spiraling out of control or even turning into an irreversible situation. The parties to the conflict should strictly abide by international humanitarian law and the relevant international conventions, refrain from attacking civilians and civilian infrastructure, avoid destroying cultural heritage, refrain from any irresponsible transfer and use of cluster munitions and, in particular, refrain from any act that might jeopardize the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant and make every effort to prevent a nuclear disaster.

Second, mitigating the food crisis and managing spillover effects is the need of all parties. The Black Sea Grain Initiative and the MOU on the export of Russian grain and fertilizers play an important role in stabilizing global food prices, maintaining global food security and, in particular, improving the food supply for the world’s most vulnerable countries. At present, the window of opportunity for resuming the package of agreement still exists. The international community should act with a greater sense of urgency and urge the parties concerned to intensify dialogue and consultations, actively address each other’s concerns and strive for the early resumption of exports of grain and fertilizers from both Russia and Ukraine. China supports the Secretary-General’s continued efforts to that end.

Thirdly, the fundamental way out is to intensify efforts for peace talks and a political settlement. No matter how difficult the situation might be, the door to diplomatic negotiations must not be closed, and efforts to reach a ceasefire and end of conflict must not be halted. It is necessary to push the parties concerned to strengthen their engagements and explore solutions that address each other’s concerns and are in line with the realities of the region. The international community should support relevant diplomatic efforts, create an atmosphere for peace talks, find the largest common denominator of the positions of the parties, and continue to build conditions for a political solution to the Ukraine issue.

On the issue of Ukraine, China has always maintained that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries should be upheld, the purposes and principles of the UN Charter should be respected, the legitimate security concerns of all parties should be taken into account, and all efforts conducive to the peaceful resolution of the crisis should be supported. We will continue to work with the international community to make unremitting efforts to promote a political solution to the Ukraine crisis.

I thank you, Madam President.

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