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Statement by Ambassador Liu Jieyi at the 69th Session of the General Assembly Under Agenda Item 69 "Strengthening of the Coordination of Humanitarian and Disaster Relief Assistance of the United Nations, Including Special Economic Assistance"

2014/12/11

 

Photo by Niu Xiaolei/Xinhua News Agency

Mr. President,

China thanks the Secretary-General for the reports submitted under this agenda item.

In 2014, humanitarian crises caused by natural disasters, armed conflicts and long-standing vulnerability have remained complicated and dire, resulting in increased humanitarian needs, significantly impacting the  economic and social development of relevant countries and regions and posing greater challenges to global humanitarian responsive capability and relief resources.China appreciates the important and active role by the UN in coordinating and mobilizing international humanitarian assistance and the efforts by the affected countries and people.  We pay tribute to the UN and other humanitarian actors for their dedication.  We believe that the UN must treat both the symptoms and the root causes of the problem so that we can both respond to humanitarian needs in a more coordinated and effective manner and address the underlying issues of the crises.  China would like to stress the following points.

First, the international humanitarian relief efforts must be conducted in accordance with the UN Charter and the basic principles governing humanitarian assistance established in GA resolution 46/182.  They must respect the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of the recipient countries, abide by international law and the law of the host country, avoid politicization of humanitarian issues and insist on the non-militarization of humanitarian assistance.

Secondly, the central role played by the UN in leading and coordinating international humanitarian efforts must be further strengthened.China appreciates the work by OCHA in such fields as resources mobilization, launching of appeals and coordination.  We attach importance to the active role by the Central Emergency Response Fund in supporting the efforts to address urgent and long-standing humanitarian crises.  China hopes that the UN humanitarian system will further improve its mechanisms, enhance coordination and step up partnership building, and increase the effectiveness of its humanitarian work by identifying the needs and priority areas of recipient countries and people and promoting synergy of relief efforts at national, regional and international levels.

China believes that the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit as proposed by the Secretary-General will provide all countries with an important opportunity to share successful experiences, and strengthen coordination in the field of international humanitarian assistance. We hope that OCHA will give timely briefings to the Member States about the results in different stages of the preparation and its work plan, and maintain contact with Member States on the process and outcome of the Summit so as to ensure transparency and broad participation of the Summit and its preparation process.

Thirdly, the peace and development efforts of the developing countries should be vigorously supported to address the root causes of the humanitarian crises. The underlying causes of the many conflict-induced humanitarian crises are the acute economic and social problems faced by the developing countries as a result of protracted poverty and underdevelopment. The international community should provide more resources, effectively implement its commitment to helping developing countries with their economic growth and sustainable development, address the root causes of the economic and social problems confronted by the developing countries, and help disaster-affected countries to achieve smooth transition from emergency relief to long-term development.

Fourthly, greater input should be made to strengthen capacity and resilience-building of the developing countries. Information technologies have greatly enhanced the way to prevent and respond to disasters. The United Nations should increase its input and help developing countries resolve their bottleneck in capital and technology so as to effectively enhance the risk management capacity and overall resilience of the developing countries.

Mr. President,

As a developing country prone to natural disasters,China fully understands the misery that the disasters have inflicted on the local population. The Chinese government, while increasingly enhancing its own disaster prevention and response capacity, attaches great importance to international cooperation in the field of humanitarian affairs, actively carrying out multilateral and bilateral humanitarian assistance,  carries out various forms of cooperation for capacity building, and conducts earnest exchanges of experiences and technology with developing countries.

In the immediate aftermath of the Ebola outbreak inWest Africa in March this year, the Chinese government was among the first to provide in-kind and cash assistance to the affected countries. China has provided four rounds of emergency assistance totaling 750 million RMB Yuan, including a donation of 6 million US dollars to the UN Ebola Response Multi-Partner Trust Fund. As we speak, more than 400 Chinese medical personnel are providing medical service to the local population in the pandemic-stricken regions.

In its fourth round of assistance,China has already taken on board the needs in the post-Ebola period by focusing part of its assistance on helping the affected countries strengthen their public health safety system and capacity-building. China has built a 100-bed treatment center in Liberia as a donation which includes a 480-strong Chinese medical staff responsible for running and managing the center. The center has already started taking in suspected cases. A mobile laboratory donated by China to Sierra Leone came into operation at the end of September while a China-donated permanent fixed bio-safety level III laboratory has also broken ground in the same country. In the upcoming months, China will dispatch 1000 tours of Chinese medical personnel and public health experts to the pandemic-stricken regions to conduct personnel training, lab testing, patient observation and treatment. China will also start to implement the Long-Term China-Africa Public Health Cooperation Plan by conducting 12 sessions of training courses on public health and pandemic prevention and control for the affected countries, AU and ECOWAS as well as the China-Africa joint research on prevention and treatment of epidemic diseases.

China will continue to join other parties in the international community to further support the affected West African countries in their Ebola response. China will, in light of the development in the international humanitarian situation, continue to make its own contribution to the international humanitarian cause.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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