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Remarks by Ambassador Zhang Jun at the UN General Assembly Special Emergency Session on Ukraine

2022-03-24 10:49

Mr. President,

The development of the situation in Ukraine to the present stage has triggered broad international concerns, and it is also something China does not want to see. On Ukraine, China has always maintained 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.

It is heart-wrenching to see the continued deterioration of humanitarian situation in Ukraine, as well as the civilian casualties and massive displacement of people caused by the conflict. The top priority now is for the parties concerned to maintain maximum restraints, avoid more civilian casualties, and reach a negotiated ceasefire as soon as possible, especially to prevent a larger-scale humanitarian crisis.

China attaches great importance to the humanitarian issue of Ukraine. We have put forward a six-point initiative, and provided several consignments of humanitarian relief supplies to the Ukrainian Red Cross Society. We welcome any initiative and measures that can help alleviate and resolve the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. China's fundamental starting point is to promote the international community and the UN to attach great importance to the humanitarian situation in Ukraine, and call on the parties concerned to strengthen coordination on the humanitarian issue, effectively protect the safety of civilians, especially vulnerable groups such as women and children, and facilitate the personnel evacuation and humanitarian relief operations. We also support the UN and relevant agencies in actively conducting relief operations. Based on the current situation, when dealing with the humanitarian issue of Ukraine, the principles of humanity, neutrality and impartiality established by GA Resolution 46/182 should be strictly observed to prevent the politicization of humanitarian issues.

With regard to the draft resolution on the humanitarian situation in Ukraine put forward by France, Mexico and others, China recognizes the purpose of the draft resolution, and appreciates the efforts made by France, Mexico and relevant countries in promoting consensus. At the same time, it is clear that some elements of the draft resolution go beyond the humanitarian context. Some issues are so complex that can only be solved though political negotiations between the parties concerned. The draft resolution proposed by South Africa focuses on the humanitarian issue, and addresses the important aspects of the current situation in Ukraine, while emphasizing that the cessation of hostilities is a key first step towards improving the humanitarian situation. We believe that, under the current conditions, the draft resolution proposed by South Africa is more conducive to promoting the unity of the UN membership and to opening the door for further  dialogue and negotiation and a diplomatic solution. Therefore, China has co-sponsored the draft resolution proposed by South Africa.

Mr. President,

Today's world is facing multiple severe challenges, and the spillover effects of the Ukraine crisis have further brought about global impacts. The world is yet to emerge from the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the ever-escalating implementation of sweeping, non-discriminatory sanctions have caused and will further cause a huge impact on global economy, trade, finance, energy, food and industrial and supply chains, seriously affecting the normal lives of people in all countries, and making the already difficult world economy even worse. Developing countries, which make up the majority of the world, are not parties to this conflict. They should not be drawn into the issue and forced to suffer the consequences of geopolitical conflicts and major power rivalry.

In addressing international and regional hotspot issues, there cannot be only two options, namely the use of force and sanctions. In the face of complex situations, all countries have the right to independently and autonomously decide their own foreign policies. Relevant countries should not adopt a simplistic approach of either friend or foe, black or white, and should not force any country to pick a side. Respect for the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all countries is a basic norm governing international relations that applies to all countries and all situations. There should be no exceptions, still less double standards.

Mr. President,

Dialogue and negotiation is the only way out for the Ukraine crisis. China strongly calls on the international community to remain rational, strengthen unity and make unremitting efforts for ceasefire and peace. China will continue its constructive role in facilitating peace talks.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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