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Remarks by Ambassador Zhang Jun at the UN Security Council Briefing on Cooperation Between the UN and the League of Arab States

2023-06-08 14:15

Mr. President, 

I thank the UAE for initiating this meeting, and welcome His Excellency Khalifa Shaheen, Minister of State of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, to preside over this meeting in New York. I also thank Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo, Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit, and Ms. Omnia El Omrani for their briefings. I welcome the Permanent Representative of Egypt on behalf of the Arab group to participate in today's meeting. 

Recently, the Middle East has witnessed a series of positive changes with unity, cooperation, dialogue, and reconciliation gaining strong momentum. It has injected new hope and positive energy into the world entangled in turmoil. Saudi Arabia and Iran announced the restoration of diplomatic relations through the Beijing dialogue, triggering a wave of reconciliation in the Middle East. Historical easing of relations has been achieved among multiple countries and several regional hotspot issues have seen positive progress. After a 12-year hiatus, Syria has returned to the League of Arab States and the Arab League family has once again been made whole. This fully demonstrates that breaking away from bloc confrontation, easing tensions, and seeking peaceful development are the popular aspirations and calls of the countries and peoples in this region. China appreciates the League of Arab States and the regional countries for their unremitting efforts in this regard. 

The international community should follow the trend by playing a constructive role in supporting Arab countries to independently explore development paths that are in line with their national conditions and to determine their own future. All parties should support the League of Arab States in playing a greater role in regional and international affairs, leading the Arab world to strengthen strategic guidance, forge peace and stability, accelerate development and revitalization, and achieve unity and self-strengthening. The United Nations should further deepen cooperation with the League of Arab States based on the spirit of Chapter VIII of the UN Charter. The relevant envoys and the special representatives of the United Nations Secretary-General should strengthen communication and coordination with the League of Arab States in order to form synergy. The Security Council should listen more to the views of the League of Arab States and regional countries and seek regional solutions to regional issues through peaceful means. 

Mr. President, 

The Palestinian issue has always been at the core of the whole Middle East issue. The recurring tensions between Palestine and Israel clearly demonstrate that the long-standing stalemate in the peace process is unsustainable, piecemeal crisis management is difficult to sustain, and a comprehensive and just solution is irreplaceable China appreciates the League of Arab States and its members for their just position on the Palestinian issue and supports their continued leadership role in addressing the Palestinian issue. The UN and the Security Council should strengthen coordination with the League of Arab States based on relevant UN resolutions, the Arab peace initiative, and other international consensus, and, with a stronger sense of urgency and more robust measures, promote the two-State solution and help the Palestinian people realize their dream of an independent state at the earliest opportunity.

Syria’s return to the League of Arab States is not only a new driving force for the Arab countries to seeking strength through unity, but also a new opportunity for a political solution to the Syrian crisis. We hope that the relevant parties will seize this opportunity, strengthen dialogue, actively cooperate with the efforts of UN Special Envoy Geir Pedersen, gradually build mutual trust, and promote progress in the political negotiation process, in order to achieve a comprehensive solution to the Syrian issue at an early date.

The political process in Yemen is maintaining a positive momentum and all parties have remained in close communication regarding the resumption of ceasefire, demonstrating prospects for a political and negotiated resolution of the conflict. We appreciate the proactive efforts made by regional countries, including Saudi Arabia and Oman, to alleviate the situation in Yemen and achieve a permanent ceasefire. We hope that all parties shall prioritize the interests of the Yemeni people, intensify dialogue and consultations, set reasonable expectations, demonstrate appropriate flexibility, and expedite visible progress in the political process in the country.

Mr. President, 

The friendship between China and Arab countries has withstood the test of time. We have stood together in national liberation struggles, achieved win-win cooperation in economic globalization, and upheld the principles and righteousness amid the ups and downs in international affairs. From this has grown the spirit of China-Arab friendship featuring "solidarity and mutual assistance, equality and mutual benefit, and inclusiveness and mutual learning". At the end of last year, President Xi Jinping attended the First China-Arab States Summit and the first China-Gulf Cooperation Council Summit, where he held a bilateral meetings with leaders from nearly 20 Arab countries. The two sides have issued documents including the Riyadh Declaration of the First China-Arab States Summit, which consolidated the strategic consensus on the development of bilateral relations and on major regional and international issues. Cooperation between the two sides in areas such as the Belt and Road Initiative, energy, food, investment, and green development has further deepened. We will continue to stand together with Arab countries, weather the storm together, and further deepened and solidify the China-Arab community with a shared future for the new era. We are committed to making positive contributions to the lasting peace, unity, universal security, and the common prosperity of the Middle East region.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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