|Statement by Mr. Zhou Ningyu of the Chinese Delegation at the Third Committee of the 65th Session of the UNGA on Refugees (Agenda Item 61)|
The Chinese delegation thanks the High Commissioner for his report and congratulates the UNHCR Executive Committee for the successful convening of its 61st session in Geneva.
The global refugee situation remains grave and complex. In 2009, there were still 10.4 million refugees who were receiving assistance from the UNHCR. Over half of those refugees have been trapped in that situation for a long time and most of them are in Asia and Africa, constituting a serious constraint to local economic and social development. The number of internally displaced persons has also increased significantly. While wars and conflicts remain the main causes of the refugee problem, natural disasters have also led to mass displacement of people. Furthermore, the current global economic downturn, food and energy crises and worsening security environment for humanitarian work have all added to the difficulties faced by refugees and IDPs.
China believes that under such circumstances, the international community must increase attention to the issue of refugees and seek a solution to this problem by adopting comprehensive measures to address both its symptoms and root causes. The international community should, through multilateral agencies such as the United Nations, help countries achieve peace, stability and development so as to eliminate the root causes of the refugee problem. Given the global nature of this issue, countries should work together under the principle of “international solidarity and burden sharing” and strive to find a durable solution. Since developing countries are shouldering the brunt of the burden of sheltering the refugees, developed countries and UN agencies should provide them with more financial and technical assistance. Great love knows no boundaries. In this spirit, members of the international community should cooperate and help each other when faced with severe natural disasters in order to improve capacity in disaster preparedness, disaster relief and post-disaster reconstruction so that IDPs can return home at an early date.
China highly appreciates the work of the UNHCR under the leadership of the High Commissioner. We hope that the UNHCR will maintain the humanitarian nature of its work, continue to provide assistance to people of concern in a neutral and professional manner, and strike a balance between expanding the scope of protection and preventing the abuse of the international asylum system. We also hope that the UNHCR continue its coordinating work in order to form synergy among different parties and press ahead with internal reform with a view to enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of its relief activities. China believes that the UNHCR will continue its pragmatic cooperation with governments in a joint response to challenges in the field of refugees.
As a signatory to the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and its Protocol, the Chinese Government has consistently honored in good faith its relevant international obligations. In recent years, China has maintained with the UNHCR good cooperation and communication in capacity building, refugee legislation and emergency response, among others. China is ready to further its cooperation with the UNHCR and make its due contributions to the international cause for the protection of refugees.
Thank you Mr. Chairman.