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Explanation of Vote by Ambassador Zhang Jun at the UN Security Council on the Draft Resolution on the Humanitarian Issue of Ukraine

2022-03-23 17:55

Madam President,

Since the outbreak of the Ukraine crisis, the continued deterioration of humanitarian situation and the increasing spillover effects have triggered widespread concern in the international community. The Security Council has held multiple discussions on the humanitarian issue in Ukraine. And it is heart-wrenching to see the reports of increased civilian casualties, rising numbers of refugees, and serious shortfalls in humanitarian reliefs. Like many member states, China has always called for avoiding civilian casualties to the maximum extent, and making every effort to ensure basic humanitarian needs. At the same time, we advocate that the Security Council should fulfill its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, and play its due role in the humanitarian issue of Ukraine.

China has put forward a six-point initiative on the humanitarian situation in Ukraine, and has provided several consignments of humanitarian relief supplies to the Ukrainian Red Cross Society. We welcome any initiative from others that can help alleviate and resolve the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. Over the past few weeks, the Security Council has had repeated consultations on the draft resolutions proposed by France, Mexico as well as the Russian Federation. China has actively participated in the consultations, and has always called on all parties to focus on the humanitarian issue, transcend the political differences, and do their best to seek consensus, so as to make positive efforts to address the current humanitarian crisis. It is regrettable that the Security Council was unable to reach the broadest possible agreement in the end.

It is the shared wish of the international community for an immediate ceasefire, which is also China's strong expectation. We believe that, while promoting a ceasefire and stop of fighting, the Security Council should at the same time also respond to the humanitarian crisis in a positive, pragmatic and constructive manner. China's vote in favor of the draft resolution was based on our call for the international community to attach high importance to the humanitarian situation in Ukraine, and for the parties concerned to strengthen coordination on humanitarian issues, so as to effectively protect the safety of civilians, especially women, children and other vulnerable groups, and to facilitate the personnel evacuation and humanitarian relief operations. We welcome the coordinating role of the UN in humanitarian assistance. We support the work of the coordinator for the Ukraine crisis, and encourage OCHA, UNHCR and other agencies in taking active actions to mobilize the international community to provide humanitarian relief to all those in need without discrimination, and to help resettle refugees and displaced persons in and around Ukraine. The principles of humanity, neutrality and impartiality established by GA Resolution 46/182 must be strictly observed in humanitarian relief operations.

Madam President,

China adheres to an independent foreign policy, and has always determined our position on relevant issues in a responsible manner based on the merits of the matter itself. On Ukraine, China has always insisted that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries should be respected, that the purposes and principles of the UN Charter should be upheld, that the legitimate security concerns of all countries should be taken seriously, and that all efforts conducive to the peaceful resolution of the crisis should be supported.

The Ukraine crisis poses a serious challenge to the world. The key right now is for the parties concerned to show political will and find a proper solution through negotiations as soon as possible. The international community should create space for peace and leave room for a political solution. The top priority now is to call on all parties to exercise maximum restraint, avoid civilian casualties and prevent a larger-scale humanitarian crisis. The long-term solution lies in abandoning the Cold-War mentality, refraining from bloc confrontations, and gradually putting in place a balanced, effective and sustainable global and regional security architecture. China will continue to promote talks for peace, speak out for peace, and do its best for peace,

Thank you, Madam President.

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