|Statement by Mr. Zhang Guixuan of the Chinese Delegation at the Third Committee of the 66th Session of the UN General Assembly on Refugees|
China thanks the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees for his report, appreciates the effective work performed by the UNHCR over the past year in refugee protection, and congratulates the UNHCR Executive Committee on the successful convening of its 62nd session in Geneva.
The international situation regarding refugee protection has become more grave and complex than ever before. In addition to traditional factors such as armed conflicts and natural disasters, new factors including societal unrest, economic recession and poverty, have kept cropping up, resulting in ever mounting displacement of people. The frequent outbreaks of humanitarian emergencies and exigencies are posing higher demands for the emergency response capacity of the international refugee protection system.
Meanwhile, the difficulty of refugee settlement has continued to grow. Most of the countries of origin have yet to attain stability and development, which makes it difficult for refugees and internally displaced persons to return to their homeland. Some countries have witnessed increasing xenophobic sentiments towards refugees, making the living conditions and social environment of the refugees even worse.
To respond to the above-mentioned challenges, the international community should pay greater attention to the refugees issue and focus on its work in the following areas:
First, continue to promote the democratization of international relations, adhere to the principle of peaceful settlement of international disputes and thus reduce the number of refugees and IDPs resulting from armed conflicts.
Second, keep striving for economic development and social stability to minimize the social and economic root causes of refugees. The developed countries should take comprehensive measures to help the developing countries, in particular the LDCs, to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.
Third, adhere to the principle of “international solidarity and burden sharing”. The developed countries should help the developing countries to enhance the capacity for refugee protection and settlement.
Fourth, improve cooperation and enhance the emergency response capacity of the international refugee protection system. Effective measures should be taken to safeguard the integrity of international refugee protection mechanism and prevent its abuse.
Fifth, fight against all forms of racial discrimination and xenophobia, protect the refugees’ rights in a comprehensive manner, and continue to improve their living conditions.
This year marks the 60th anniversary of the Convention on the Status of Refugees and the 50th anniversary of the Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness. China welcomes the UNHCR’s scheduling of a ministerial commemorative meeting in December this year. We hope that countries will send high-level delegations to this meeting, to explore policies to address the root causes of the problems of refugees and statelessness, and to push for greater commitment to the protection of refugees and stateless people. China will take an active part in the ministerial meeting and work with all other parties to contribute to the international cause of refugee protection.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.