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Explanation of Vote by Ambassador Zhang Jun on the Security Council Draft Resolution Presented by Copenholders on Mandate Renewal for the Cross-border Mechanism in Syria

2020/07/11

It is China’s consistent position that the international community should increase humanitarian assistance to the Syrian people on the basis of respecting Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. China encourages relevant parties to step up communication and cooperation with the Syrian government to facilitate its positive role, and help remove obstacles for cross-line humanitarian relief to meet the needs of the Syrian people.

China always has reservations about cross-border mechanism. Considering the actual situation in Syria, China does not object to retaining the cross-border mechanism at this stage. At the same time, China believes that the cross-border mechanism should be adjusted accordingly in light of the developments on the ground. We have noticed that the latest draft resolution presented by Belgium and Germany reaffirms the commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Syria, and includes further adjustment to the cross-border mechanism. This is another step towards the right direction.

It must be pointed out that years of illegal sanctions have exacerbated the economic and humanitarian crises in Syria, devastating livelihoods and bringing untold sufferings to innocent civilians. The sanctions have also seriously undermined Syria’s ability to respond to COVID-19. The repeated calls made by Secretary-General Guterres and Special Envoy Pederson for the lifting of unilateral coercive measures have received overwhelming support of UN member states. We thank the majority of Security Council members that support China’s position.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, lifting unilateral coercive measures becomes more important and urgent to improving the humanitarian situation in Syria. China calls on the Security Council to address this critical issue, and request a comprehensive assessment by UN Secretariat on the impact of unilateral coercive measures on the humanitarian situation in Syria. We urge the United States to lift its unilateral coercive measures on Syria immediately, stop causing more harm to the lives and livelihoods of the Syrian people, stop politicizing the humanitarian issue and putting up hypocritical political show, and demonstrate responsible attitude and spirit of humanitarianism with concrete actions.

I wish to take this opportunity to reiterate that the Syrian issue should be addressed with a holistic approach, taking into account the political, counter-terrorism, security, humanitarian and other aspects altogether. China calls upon relevant parties to strengthen dialogue and consultation, actively promote a “Syrian-led, Syrian-owned” political process. China will continue to play a responsible and constructive role in the efforts to achieve a peaceful, just and proper settlement of the Syrian issue at an early date.

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