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Statement by Ambassador Zhang Jun in the Security Council after the Voting on Draft Resolution on the Mandate Renewal of Cross-border Humanitarian Relief Mechanism in Syria

2020/01/10

China attaches great importance to the humanitarian situation in Syria, supports the international community in stepping up humanitarian assistance to the Syrian people, and supports the work of humanitarian assistance in Syria by the UN. China has also provided assistance to Syria through multilateral and bilateral channels, and is committed to improving the humanitarian situation in Syria.

Regarding the establishment of a Syrian cross-border humanitarian relief mechanism, China always has reservations. We have consistently advocated that in taking any action, the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country concerned and the will of its government must be respected. Cross-border humanitarian relief is a special relief method adopted under specific circumstances. It should be evaluated and adjusted in a timely manner in light of the developments on the ground. The Syrian government has the primary responsibility for improving the humanitarian situation in Syria. Under the current circumstances, OCHA and the relevant parties should step up cooperation with the Syrian government, and prioritize providing humanitarian assistance from inside Syria. Cross-border humanitarian operations should strictly follow the United Nations Humanitarian Relief Guiding Principles and international law, and observe the principles of neutrality, impartiality and non-politicization.

On Syrian cross-border humanitarian relief, China has been actively engaged in negotiations on relevant draft resolutions, making every effort to coordinate and encourage the parties to show flexibility and work towards a compromise. We commend the co-penholders, Russia and Secretary-General Guterres for their efforts and welcome Council members finding compromise on the issue of extension. Given the current situation, extending the two crossing points by six months is realistic and feasible. These two crossing points are the most important ones and serve the humanitarian needs of Syria. We hope that the relevant parties will continue to have constructive communication on Syrian cross-border humanitarian relief.

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