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Statement by Ambassador Li Baodong at the 67th Session of the GA under agenda item 70: Strengthening of the coordination of humanitarian and disaster relief assistance of the United Nations, including special economic assistance


Photo by Li Yang/China News Service

Mr. President,

The Chinese Delegation thanks the Secretary General for his report submitted under this agenda item and associates itself with the statement made by Algeria on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.

For the international humanitarian community, the year 2012, which is coming to an end soon, has been far from tranquil with incessant natural disasters and regional conflicts that are often intertwined, posing daunting challenges to the global humanitarian response capability and relief resources, and also seriously hampering the socio-economic development of the countries concerned. The international community should take immediate actions and foster close cooperation so as to respond to the increasingly grave situation through concrete measures. In this connection, China wishes to further highlight the following points.

Firstly, any humanitarian relief operation must be premised on the fundamental principles set out in the GA Resolution 46/182. In providing humanitarian relief, it is imperative to abide by the fundamental humanitarian principles of the UN, respect the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of recipient countries, comply with international law and the laws of the host countries, avoid politicization of humanitarian issues and adhere to non-militarization of humanitarian assistance.

Secondly, effective strengthening of capacity building is essential for relieving the pressure of humanitarian needs. As a firm supporter of and advocate for the strengthening of capacity building in humanitarian and development fields, China believes that the most important task at the moment is to take concrete and effective measures in view of different countries’ specific needs, including increase input, transfer technology and expertise to developing countries and step up infrastructure building, to help countries affected by disasters, developing countries in particular, to strengthen capacity building in an all-round way. By so doing, humanitarian needs will be lessened, root causes for the deterioration of situations will be tackled and the people affected by disasters will really feel the benefit of capacity building.

Thirdly, building partnerships is an important means to enhance cooperation and integrate resources. With ever-growing humanitarian needs, humanitarian relief actors have multiplied, which makes the establishment of partnerships all the more important. China believes that three issues merit our attention in building effective partnerships: 1. The leading position of affected countries should be upheld and any form of partnership must be built on the basis of equality and mutual benefit and on the premise of respecting the will of the governments of the countries affected. 2. Well functioning and effective participation and coordination mechanisms should be put in place to encourage effective cooperation and connection among humanitarian actors in order to ensure the maximum utilization of resources and enhance the effectiveness of humanitarian relief. 3. The existing mechanisms and resources of the UN should be fully utilized to play a coordinating and pivotal role in partnership building.

Fourthly, efficient functioning of the humanitarian system of the U.N. is an important guarantee for effective humanitarian relief. In the past two years, under the leadership of Under-Secretary-General Amos, OCHA has played an irreplaceable role in appealing for donations and coordinating among various actors. China commends its work and hopes that the U.N. humanitarian system will further improve its mechanisms, intensify the reform of its humanitarian activities, increase participation of member states, improve management and enhance efficiency, so that the U.N. will play a bigger role in international humanitarian affairs.

Mr. President,

As a developing country prone to natural disasters, China knows all too well the sufferings disasters inflict on the people affected. Therefore, the Chinese Government attaches great importance to international cooperation in the humanitarian field, actively participates in multilateral and bilateral humanitarian assistance, and shares with other developing countries experience and technologies of coping with natural disasters. Since the beginning of this year, China has provided food assistance to Chad and other countries in the Sahel region of Africa, and has provided humanitarian assistance to Cuba and Syria, among others. China will continue to follow closely the humanitarian situation in the Sahel region and contribute within its means to the international humanitarian endeavor.

Thank you Mr. President.

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