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Statement by Counselor Yao Shaojun at the Security Council Briefing on the Humanitarian Situation in Syria


Mr. President,

China thanks USG for humanitarian affairs Mr. Lowcock and SRSG Ms. Gamba for their briefings.

China takes note of the Secretary General's recent report on cross-border humanitarian relief operations and expresses concern over the country's humanitarian situation and the challenges confronting humanitarian actors. We applaud the efforts by the United Nations humanitarian agencies to alleviate the humanitarian situation in certain areas of Syria. We hope that all Syrian parties will continue to coordinate with the UN's humanitarian efforts.

Given the ongoing conflict in some parts of Syria, it is our hope that the parties concerned will refrain from harming innocent civilians and enhance the protection of children affected by the conflict. All Syrian parties must bear in mind the future of their country and the well-being of their people, abide by relevant Security Council resolutions and resolve their differences through dialogue and consultation with a view to improving the humanitarian situation as swiftly as possible.

Throughout humanitarian undertakings, it is imperative to adhere to the principle of neutrality, impartiality and non-politicization and to respect Syria's sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity. The United Nations and the international community need to enhance communication and coordination with the Syrian government in providing assistance to all areas in need. In addition, the international community needs to ramp up its support to those neighboring countries which have hosted large numbers of Syrian refugees.

We have noted the progress made in the return of Syrian citizens back to their homes. The international community must prioritize and actively support the reconstruction of Syria and scale up efforts to clear mines, IEDs and explosive remnants of war, minimize accidental casualties of civilians and facilitate the return of refugees and displaced persons.

Terrorist groups continue to launch attacks within Syria. We condemn the recent terrorist attack in Sweida governorate of southern Syria. The international community must strengthen cooperation and uphold uniform standards in resolutely combating all terrorist organizations designated by the Security Council.

Mr. President,

A fundamental easing of the Syrian humanitarian situation requires investing greater efforts in the promotion of its political process. The international community should pool its efforts in support of the United Nations as the main channel of mediation and support Special Envoy de Mistura in facilitating the political process in accordance with the principle of Syrian ownership and leadership as well as Security Council resolution 2254. It is important that the Council stay united on this issue and create conditions conducive to a political settlement.

China attaches great importance to the humanitarian situation in Syria. Not long ago, President Xi Jinping announced another RMB 600 million in aid to Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and others in support of humanitarian and reconstruction efforts on the ground. We will continue to help Syria and its neighbors affected by Syrian refugees to the best of our abilities.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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