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Remarks by Ambassador Zhang Jun at the UN Security Council Briefing on Cooperation Between the UN and Regional and Subregional Organizations (League of Arab States)

2022-03-23 12:00

Mr. President,

I thank the UAE for its initiative to convene today's meeting. I welcome His Excellency Mr. Shaheen, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, to New York as he chairs this meeting. My thanks also go to Secretary-General Guterres, Secretary-General Gheit and Ms. Alaqil for the briefings made. I would like to welcome to the meeting the Permanent Representative of Yemen, in his capacity as the chair of the Arab group.

China looks forward to the Council's adoption of the presidential statement on strengthening cooperation with the LAS. We believe the statement will advance cooperation between the two sides in areas such as addressing the root causes of conflicts, employing good offices and  mediation, and countering terrorism. We look forward to the brief report to be submitted by the Secretary-General on cooperation between the Security Council and the LAS as per the presidential statement, so as to develop ideas and create conditions for deepening cooperation between the two sides.

Mr. President,

Security and development have long been the two principal goals pursued by Arab countries. Achieving national and regional peace, stability and prosperity is the common aspiration of the Arab people. The international community should play a constructive role in supporting Arab countries to independently explore development paths that are in line with their national conditions, and independently determine the future destiny of their countries.

The League has in-depth knowledge of the historical traditions, geographic environment, as well as the political and security situation of the countries in the region, affording it the unique advantage in addressing regional affairs. The UN should deepen its cooperation with the League and put into practice the essence of Chapter VIII of the UN Charter. The Security Council should attach importance to the views of the LAS, and encourage original approach to the settlement of regional disputes. Last September, the Security Council held its first informal dialogue with the LAS Troika, which achieved very good results. Dialogues such as this should continue with more flexible and diversified formats. China encourages relevant special envoys and special representatives of the Secretary-General to strengthen communication and maintain coordination with the League, so as to forge synergies.

Mr. President,

The question of Palestine has always been at the heart of the Middle East issue. The international situation is constantly evolving. However, under no circumstances should the question of Palestine be marginalized. We hope that Palestine and Israel will take the recent high-level contacts as an opportunity to gradually build mutual trust, gather momentum, and restart equal-footed dialogue at an early date. It is our hope that there is greater intra-Palestinian unity to achieve reconciliation and develop a unified negotiating position. China commends the just position of the League and its members on the question of Palestine. The UN and its Security Council should coordinate the peace efforts with the LAS and, on the basis of relevant UN resolutions, the Arab peace initiative, and other international consensus, persevere in the efforts to advance the Middle East Peace process.

The conflict in Syria, now in its 11th year, has brought irreparable harm to the Syrian people. The presence of millions of Syrian refugees has put enormous pressure on the neighboring Arab countries such as Lebanon and Jordan. There are profound lessons to be learned from the Syrian crisis. Now the seventh round of the constitutional committee's core group meeting is being held in Geneva. We look forward to the meeting making tangible progress, and advancing the Syrian-led and the Syrian-owned political process. China is pleased to see that more and more Arab countries are supportive of the return of Syria to the League of Arab States. We believe that the return of Syria to the LAS family will contribute to the early and comprehensive settlement of the Syrian issue

For some time now, Libya has seen the intensification of internal divisions and problems. The good momentum for a political settlement that began last year has been slowed down, resulting in rising uncertainty and instability. We hope that all parties will stay committed to the general direction of a political solution, maintain peace and stability in Libya, reach consensus on important issues concerning the future and the destiny of the country as soon as possible, and hold elections at an early date. The political process in Libya must follow the Libyan-led and Libyan-owned principle. China supports the League in making efforts to strengthen communication and coordination with the UN and the EU through the quartet on Libya, and playing a more active and constructive role in advancing the political process in Libya.

To achieve security and stability in the Gulf region, it is necessary to take into account the legitimate concerns of all parties. China put forth an initiative to establish a multilateral dialogue platform in the Gulf region. Issues related to safeguarding oil facilities, civilian infrastructure, and shipping lane security could be the initial topics for discussion. And on that basis, a common comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security architecture can be gradually built. We stand ready to maintain communication with the LAS and GCC in this regard.

Mr. President,

There is long-standing friendship between China and Arab countries. We fought side by side in the struggle for national independence. We cooperate with each other in the course of building our respective countries. With good partnership that delivers mutual benefits, we are good brothers who help and support each other. China has always kept the peace and development in the Arab world close to its heart. Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi has visited the Middle East and the North African region several times in the past two years to promote dialogue in order to resolve hotspot issues for regional security and common security. In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, China has been working with Arab countries to promote cooperation in vaccine production as well as drug research and development. And China has also accelerated the construction of free trade zones with Gulf countries, which will positively boost the post-COVID recovery and promote development in the Middle East. China will continue to work hand in hand with Arab countries to promote the building of a community with a shared future for China and Arab states.

I thank you, Mr. President.

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