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Remarks by Ambassador Zhang Jun at Security Council Briefing on Ethiopia

2021-10-06 18:10

Mr. President,

I thank Secretary-General Guterres for his briefing. I welcome the presence of the Permanent Representative of Ethiopia Ambassador Taye at today's meeting.

At present, the humanitarian needs in the Tigray region continue to grow. Food insecurity and displacement remain acute problems. UN humanitarian workers have overcome various challenges and delivered much-needed humanitarian supplies to many Ethiopians. China appreciates these efforts. The United Nations and other international humanitarian agencies should follow the UN guiding principles of humanitarian assistance, help Ethiopia increase its humanitarian response capabilities, and expand the scale of relief efforts to prevent the deterioration of the situation. We call on the international community to provide sustained resources to the Ethiopian Government in order to fill the humanitarian gap as soon as possible, and ensure that aid reaches all people in need.

The armed conflict poses enormous challenges to humanitarian operations. We have noticed that the Ethiopian Government earnestly assumes the primary responsibility for humanitarian assistance, and has proactively launched its own relief operations. At the same time, the Government is also actively responding to the concerns of international humanitarian agencies. Tremendous efforts have been made in this regard. At the request of humanitarian agencies, the Ethiopian Government has simplified administrative procedures on multiple occasions, reduced the number of checkpoints, scaled up land and air transportation, and allow humanitarian agencies to bring communication equipment into conflict areas. These measures have contributed to expanding humanitarian access, and ensuring the delivery of relief supplies, and therefore should be positively acknowledged.

Mr. President,

China regrets the disagreements surrounding the seven UN humanitarian personnel, and noted the positions and concerns expressed by the Ethiopian Government and the UN respectively. We believe that a solution can only be found through dialogue and consultation. The priority now is to engage in quiet diplomacy in order to prevent a deadlock. We encourage both sides to maintain contact, fully exchange information, work together to seek a solution, and avoid undermining existing trust and cooperation between the two sides. The international community should create a favorable atmosphere for a settlement through dialogue.

Mr. President,

A new government has just been inaugurated in Ethiopia. China expresses its welcome. China supports the Ethiopian Government in making continued efforts to achieve unity among all Ethiopians, promote political dialogue, and work collectively to safeguard national unity and build a brighter future for the country. The international community should continue to provide assistance to Ethiopia, while respecting the country's sovereignty and ownership. China supports African solutions to African problems, and welcomes the good offices of former President Obasanjo in his capacity as the AU High Representative for the Horn of Africa. The United Nations and the African Union should strengthen collaboration, and jointly play a constructive role in promoting peace and reconciliation across the entire Ethiopia. I also wish to point out that the unilateral sanctions imposed on Ethiopia and Eritrea by certain countries are in breach of international law and the basic norms governing international relations, and will serve only to disrupt political settlement. Such sanctions should therefore be lifted as soon as possible.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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