CHINA Cross-border humanitarian relief in Syria should be evaluated in a timely manner: Chinese ambassador

CHINA

Cross-border humanitarian relief in Syria should be evaluated in a timely manner: Chinese ambassador

By Li Liang | People's Daily app

14:23, December 21, 2019

New York (People's Daily) - China has called for the creation of favorable conditions for a comprehensive political settlement of the Syrian issue. Zhang Jun, China's permanent representative to the UN, said on Friday, "China urges parties to continuously strengthen mutual trust and cooperation to jointly create favorable conditions for a comprehensive political settlement of the Syrian issue."

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Zhang Jun, China's permanent representative to the UN, speaks at UN headquarters in New York, Dec. 20, 2019. (Photo: Li Liang/People's Daily)

Zhang was speaking at the UN Security Council meeting after the voting on draft resolutions on the mandated renewal of cross-border humanitarian relief mechanism in Syria.

China always attaches great importance to the humanitarian situation in Syria, supports the international community in stepping up humanitarian assistance to Syrians, and supports the active work of OCHA and other international humanitarian agencies. China has also provided Syria with food, medicine, education, training, public services and other assistance through multilateral and bilateral channels, and is committed to improving the humanitarian situation in the country and alleviating the sufferings of the Syrian people. 

Regarding the establishment of a Syrian cross-border humanitarian relief mechanism, China always has reservations.

China has always advocated that any action must respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country concerned. The Syrian government has the primary responsibility for improving the humanitarian situation in Syria and should prioritize providing humanitarian assistance from inside the country. Cross-border humanitarian relief is a special relief method adopted under specific circumstances. It should be evaluated in a timely manner in light of the developments on the ground. This mechanism must ultimately be adjusted. 

At the same time, cross-border humanitarian operations should also strictly follow international law and the United Nations Humanitarian Relief Guiding Principles, in accordance with Security Council resolutions, strengthen overall supervision and ensure fairness, neutrality, credibility, and increase transparency. Relief operations must be coordinated with the Syrian government to prevent supplies from falling into the hands of terrorist organizations or being diverted for other purposes. 

China has been making active efforts to promote consensus on the issue of cross-border humanitarian relief in Syria. 

“We regret that the parties failed to reach agreement on the extension,” Zhang added. Based on the above, China had to vote against the draft resolution. Regarding the differences of the parties on the Syrian humanitarian issue, they should be fundamentally addressed through the Syrian political process.

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