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Explanation of Vote by Ambassador Geng Shuang on the UN Security Council Draft Resolution on Sanctions against South Sudan

2024-05-30 21:30


China abstained on the draft resolution on South Sudan sanctions that was just put to a vote. I would like to like the following explanations. 

Arms embargo imposed by the Council on South Sudan that has been there for many years has constraint South Sudan's security capacity building, seriously impeded the effort of the Government of South Sudan in protecting the safety of civilians, strengthening border control, and maintaining social stability. The lifting of sanctions has always been the aspiration of the government of the people of South Sudan. Over the years, the government has made unremitting efforts to that end, and has demonstrated the political will and made much progress in implementing benchmarks related to sanctions. The Security Council should progressively ease the arms embargo on South Sudan in light of the actual situation. However, in recent years, the penholder has insisted on maintaining the sanctions against South Sudan despite the strong demands of the country in question, despite the reasonable views of the regional countries, and despite the collective voices of the African Union, IGAD, EAC, and other regional organizations. During the consultations, many Council members, including countries in the region, called for prioritizing the lifting of the arms embargo targeted at the Government of South Sudan and expressed their willingness to continue full consultations. However, the penholder refused to show flexibility on core issues and put the draft straight to vote when there are still major differences among members. Such a practice undermines the efforts of member states to seek consensus. It jeopardizes the unity and cooperation of the Security Council, and ultimately, it is going to undermine the Security Council's authority. 

The present situation on the ground calls for more assistance and support to the Government of South Sudan, instead of sanctions and pressure against it. In the past two decades, the sanctions regime of the Council has shown a pattern of expansion. The reasonable demands of many African countries calling strongly for the easing or lifting of the sanctions have been ignored. China has always advocated for a prudent and responsible way to handle the sanctions at the Council. We hope that the Council will heed the strong call of African countries, take into account the legitimate concerns, and properly adjust and lift sanctions that are not compatible with the situation on the ground. 


It is only normal for Council members to have different opinions. An important responsibility of the penholder is to promote Council unity and cooperation and help the Council bridge differences. The penholder should effectively take up this responsibility, accommodate the concerns of the country in question, give equal attention to the view of all Council members, respect the recommendation of regional organizations and countries, avoid placing country-specific positions above collective positions, and avoid making penholdership as a privilege and as a tool for exerting pressure. 

Thank you, President.

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