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Remarks by Ambassador Zhang Jun at the UN Security Council Briefing on Ukraine

2024-01-22 18:00

Mr. President,

I thank Mr. Adedeji Ebo for his briefing earlier and welcome the presence of Mr. Sergey Lavrov, Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation, and the Permanent Representative of Ukraine to this meeting.

The Ukraine crisis is becoming a protracted, complex one, which China finds regrettable and worrying. Given the increasing number of factors contributing to insecurity and instability globally, ending the Ukraine crisis, halting the hostilities, and restoring peace is felt more urgently than ever. All parties should work harder to that end.

First we must be committed to common security. The sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries must be respected and security is indivisible. No country may attempt to secure itself at the expense of another country's security. Nor can regional security be guaranteed by way of muscling up or even expanding a military bloc. The consequences of NATO's eastward expansion indicate that seeking so-called absolute security at the expense of other countries’ security will only widen the security deficit and trust deficit. It will do nothing to make our world more peaceful and stable. In this regard, NATO would do well to learn its lesson. Russia and Ukraine are neighbors that cannot move away from each other even if they wanted to. Their respective legitimate security concerns should be taken seriously. The ultimate way out of the conundrum lies in Russia, Ukraine and relevant parties building a balanced, effective, and sustainable security architecture guided by the vision of common comprehensive, cooperative, and sustainable security.

Second, negotiations must be resumed as soon as possible. There are no winners in conflict or war. Peace cannot be achieved by feeding weapons into the battlefield. And prolonged fighting will only result in more civilian casualties. We urge compliance with international humanitarian law to the letter and effective protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure. We must remain highly vigilant about nuclear safety risks. Diplomatic efforts must not be abandoned or given up under any circumstances. We call for the prompt launch of direct engagement and stepwise resumption of negotiations with a view to forging consensus to end the hostilities. The International international community and the UN should create enabling conditions to that end. Other parties should refrain from any nonconstructive action or any irresponsible rhetoric.

Third, humanitarian needs must be effectively addressed. With a high incidence of devastating attacks and civilian casualties, the destruction of infrastructure and the inclement winter weather, humanitarian needs in conflict areas are on the rise, and the humanitarian situation is distressing. We support the international community and the humanitarian organizations in stepping up their effort to provide winter relief for the populations in the affected areas, improve humanitarian conditions on the ground, and head off a humanitarian crisis of a greater magnitude.

Fourth, we must spare no effort to stem the spillover of the crisis. At a time when the Palestinian-Israeli conflict drags on and some hotspot issues are at the risk of flaring up, the world cannot afford to see further spreading of geopolitical clashes. At the same time, the global economy is slowing down, developing countries are finding it even harder to achieve the SDGs on the 2030 agenda, and the negative impacts of the Ukraine crisis and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict have added snow to the ice-cold global economy. Countries with significant influence should take a responsible approach, refrain from politicizing, instrumentalizing, or weaponizing the world economy, and should instead work together to maintain global food, energy, and financial security as well as the stability and smooth functioning of industrial and supply chains.

Mr. President,

The Ukraine issue has got to where it is today as a result of the tangle of complex factors, which deserve our serious reflection. If we look around, our world is beset with wars and conflicts, risks and challenges, bringing all manner of uncertainties and threats into international peace and security. Complex problems defies simple fixes. Confronted with all these challenges, the ultimate solution is for us to work harder to build a community with a shared future for humankind and shape a world blessed with lasting peace and universal security. All countries should play their parts and work together in this direction. China will continue to stand on the side of peace and on the side of justice, with a tireless effort for international peace and security.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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