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Remarks by Ambassador Geng Shuang at the UN General Assembly Meeting on the Use of Veto

2024-01-10 09:49

Mr. President,

The current round of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict has been going on for more than three months now. Gaza is suffering an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe, with innocent civilians losing their lives every day in an ever worsening situation. The immediate realization of a ceasefire in Gaza is the universal call of the international community and it is the most basic requirement for peace to be restored. However, the Security Council is yet to reach a consensus on a call for ceasefire to end the fighting. We are disappointed by and regret the exercise of yet another veto by the United States as at the Security Council on December 22, 2023.

China has repeatedly pointed out that the realization of a ceasefire is an overriding prerequisite. The international community must pool all its efforts to promote an immediate ceasefire to end the fighting.

Saving civilian lives requires an immediate ceasefire. The current round of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict has resulted in the loss of nearly 23,000 lives and the displacement of nearly 90% of the population in Gaza. Allowing the fighting to continue will only result in more casualties and will not help find a way out for the rescue of hostages. Secretary-General Guterres has repeatedly warned that Gaza under fire does not have the conditions for UN agencies to deliver humanitarian assistance. China urges Israel to stop its indiscriminate military attacks and collective punishment of the people of Gaza and to provide necessary conditions for humanitarian agencies to deliver aid in Gaza.

Avoiding regional instability requires an immediate ceasefire. As the conflict in Gaza continues, tensions are escalating in the West Bank, between Lebanon and Israel, between Syria and Israel, and in the Red Sea. With the Middle East region facing turbulence, the international peace and security are being threatened. Only a ceasefire in Gaza can fundamentally eliminate the spillover effect of the conflict and prevent the wider Middle East from being dragged into a war and conflict.

Upholding the two-State solution requires an immediate ceasefire. We opposed the forcible transfer and forcible relocation of the Palestinian people. We oppose the expropriation of Palestinian land. We are extremely concerned about the open rejection of the two-State solution by some Israeli political figures. China calls for intensified international and regional diplomatic efforts to promote an immediate ceasefire, help the people of Gaza to end their displacement and return to their homes at an early date, and prevent a total collapse of the foundation for the two-State solution.

Mr. President,

China will continue to work with the international community to urge the Security Council to take timely, responsible, and meaningful actions and to make unremitting efforts to end the fight in Gaza as soon as possible, effectively implement the two-State solution, and achieve peace and stability in the Middle East.

I thank you, Mr. President.

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