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Statement by Ambassador Wu Haitao at the 71st Session of the General Assembly under Agenda Item 131 "Global awareness of the tragedies of irregular migrants in the Mediterranean basin with specific emphasis on Syrian asylum seekers"

2017/04/07

Mr. President,

At present, the situation of refugees and migrants in the Mediterranean basin remains grave. This problem has also been going on in Africa and other regions for a long time with no solution. This has caused wide concern from the international community and has become a common global challenge involving many complicated factors. Its root cause is regional instability and uneven development, and the fundamental solution is to achieve peace, stability and common development, strengthen international cooperation, and improve global governance.

Safeguarding international and regional peace and stability. All countries should adhere to the principles and purposes of the UN Charter and resolve their differences and disputes through political dialogue. The UN should play a lead role in strengthening good offices and mediation, improving mechanisms for conflict prevention and resolution, and ensuring the effectiveness and efficiency of the peacekeeping operations. The international community should promote equal dialogue and exchange among different civilizations, resolutely fight against all forms of terrorism, and avoid double standards.

The conflicts in Syria have lasted for seven years, subjecting innocent Syrian people to disastrous sufferings. It is our hope that the international community will join efforts in intensifying support to the United Nations as a principal channel of mediation, consolidating the ceasefire and continuously promoting the hard-won process for a political settlement to the Syrian issue.

2. Helping developing countries achieve common development. We should help the developing countries strengthen their development capacity and improve the international environment for development. We should promote a more inclusive economic globalization which will benefit all and increase the voice of developing countries in global economic affairs. Full implementation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda should be intensified. Developed countries should increase their ODAs to countries of origin in Africa and the Middle East in order to promote their development.

3. Persisting in enhancing international cooperation on refugees and migration. The origin, transit and destination states should strengthen solidarity and cooperation and bear their respective responsibilities. The countries concerned should receive refugees and migrants in the spirit of openness and inclusiveness, eliminate xenophobia and discrimination toward refugees and migrants and help them to adapt to their new environments. Developed countries should increase humanitarian assistance to developing countries and international agencies.

4. Continuing to improve global governance on refugees and migration. All states should implement in earnest the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, and give full play to the role of agencies such as UNHCR and IOM. The developing countries have hosted the majority of refugees in the world, so importance should be attached to the concerns and roles of these countries and they should be given a greater voice. The negotiation process of the Global Compacts on Refugees and Migrants shall be carried out in a steady and separate manner and take care of concerns of all parties.

Mr. President,

On January 18, President Xi Jinping addressed the UN Geneva Office advocating for creating a community of shared future for mankind through exerting efforts to build a clean and beautiful world of enduring peace, universal security, common prosperity and openness and inclusiveness. At present, mankind is in a period of momentous development, transformation and changes, facing countless challenges and mounting risks. All countries are interconnected and interdependent, their fates are inextricably intertwined and they share weal and woe. It is only through the creation of a community of shared future can the world address various risks and challenges, including the issue of refugees and migrants.

China attaches great importance to, and is deeply involved in the settlement of the issue on refuges and migrants. China works hard in preserving international peace and stability, firmly supports common development of developing countries, and provides humanitarian assistance to some countries and international agencies. China has provided over 680 million RMB in kind and in cash to assist the Syrian people including Syrian refugees overseas. In January this year, China decided to give another 200 million RMB in this regard. Recently, China provided an additional US$1 million to WHO, UNICEF, and UNHCR respectively to support their efforts in providing humanitarian assistance to refugees and displaced people in some countries. Part of the funds in the China-UN Development Fund will also be used to support the UNHCR and IOM in their effort to provide education, training, health service to refugees in countries like Pakistan, Iran, Ethiopia, and Ghana.

China will join the international community to continue its contribution to settling the global issue of refugees and migrants to the best of its ability.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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