CHINA Chinese envoy criticizes US for failure as penholder on issue of South Sudan sanctions


Chinese envoy criticizes US for failure as penholder on issue of South Sudan sanctions


07:27, May 27, 2022

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UNITED NATIONS, May 26 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese envoy on Thursday criticized the United States for failing to fulfill its responsibility as the penholder of the Security Council on the issue of South Sudan sanctions.

The penholder's responsibility is to help the Security Council come up with a text that has the maximum consensus, rather than stubbornly insisting on the penholder's own views in the text, said Zhang Jun, China's permanent representative to the United Nations.

"Regrettably, the penholder did not fulfill this responsibility. It did not carefully listen to and adopt the reasonable opinions, did not show the fairness and inclusiveness a penholder should have, and failed to fully take into account the concerns of all parties when adjusting the text," said Zhang in an explanation of vote.

A number of members, including all African members of the Security Council, broke the silence placed by the United States for the draft resolution. However, the United States still forced a vote on a text that did not enjoy consensus. Therefore, China had no choice but to abstain from voting, he said.

Gabon, India, Kenya and Russia also abstained in Thursday's voting on the draft resolution on the renewal of sanctions against South Sudan.

The Security Council sanctions regime on South Sudan is the most controversial of all Security Council sanctions regimes. That is because South Sudan, which is the youngest member of the United Nations that has gone through a decade of war, needs constructive support, not pressure by sanctions from the international community. That is because the African Union and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development have always taken a clear stance against Security Council sanctions on South Sudan. That is because the issue of South Sudan is ultimately to be addressed through political means. In many cases, pressure by sanctions is not only ineffective, but also restricts the ability of the government of South Sudan to build security capacity in protecting civilians, he said.

It is precisely for those reasons that China has been cautious about Security Council sanctions on South Sudan and has for many times abstained from voting on draft resolutions renewing sanctions.

Last year, the Security Council established benchmarks for adjusting sanctions on South Sudan. According to the UN secretary-general's report, South Sudan has made progress in the implementation of benchmarks. In light of the secretary-general's report and at the same time taking into account the obsession of some council members on sanctions, China and other council members believed that the Security Council should adopt measures to gradually ease the sanctions regime on South Sudan. On this basis, China has put forward constructive amendments, and so have other members of the council. These measures, if adopted, will not exacerbate the conflicts in South Sudan, but will help respond positively to the concerns of the African Union, enhance South Sudan's capacity-building in security, and encourage the government of South Sudan to take more substantive steps toward implementing the benchmarks for the adjustment of sanctions, he said.

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