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China and Russia Vote against UNSC Draft Resolution on Syrian Issue Submitted by France and Other Countries

(From Permanent Mission of China to the UN)

2014-05-22 15:34

In the morning of May 22, 2014, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) had a vote on a draft resolution submitted by France and other countries on referring the Syrian situation to the International Criminal Court (ICC). China and Russia voted against it. The draft resolution was not adopted because China and Russia exercised their veto power.

After the vote, Ambassador Wang Min, Deputy Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations, delivered an explanatory speech, expounding China's position on relevant issues.

Wang Min said, the Chinese side has always advocated that all parties in Syria should respect human rights, abide by the international humanitarian law, and avoid hurting the innocent in conflicts, and firmly opposes any behavior of violations of the international humanitarian law and serious violations of human rights by all parties in conflicts in Syria. But the Chinese side has several serious questions about the draft resolution that was put to vote by the Security Council just now.

First, the Chinese side believes that any action to seek recourse to the ICC for perpetrators of serious violations should be conducted on the premise of respecting state judicial sovereignty and abiding by the complementary principle. Not being a signatory state to the Rome Statue, China has always had reservations about the Security Council's referring a country's situation to the ICC, which is our principled stand.

Second, as the current political settlement of the Syrian issue is faced with difficulty, the international community should strengthen confidence, maintain patience and unwaveringly adhere to the general direction of a political settlement. The pressing urgency is to urge the Syrian government and the opposition forces to cease fire and curb violence as soon as possible, restart the third round negotiations of the Geneva II Conference, advance political process and launch political transition. Under the current situation, forcibly referring the Syrian situation to the ICC is detrimental for all relevant parties in Syria to enhance mutual trust and is harmful for the negotiations of the Geneva II Conference to restart as soon as possible. It will impair efforts to promote a political settlement made by the international community.

Third, since there are still serious differences among all parties on the draft resolution, the Security Council should carry on consultations rather than forcible vote, so as not to damage unity within the Security Council or disturb coordination and cooperation within the Security Council on the Syrian issue and other major issues.

Wang Min stressed that the Chinese side has always held an objective and fair position on the Syrian issue. The Chinese side has no selfish interests and will not shelter any faction or person in Syria. As a permanent member of the Security Council and a responsible member of the international community, the Chinese side has always been committed to seeking plans for political settlement to the Syrian issue, and has provided batches of humanitarian assistance for Syrian people including overseas refugees through various channels. The Chinese side attaches great importance to reasonable concern on the Syrian issue of all relevant parties, especially Arab States. We are willing to maintain close communication with all relevant parties and make positive contributions to achieving proper settlement to the Syrian issue and safeguarding peace and stability in the Middle East.

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