|Statement by Mr. LUO Cheng of the Chinese Delegation at the Third Committee of the 64th Session of the UN General Assembly, on Refugees (Item 41)|
(3 November 2009, New York)
The Chinese delegation thanks the High Commissioner for his report and congratulates the UNHCR Executive Committee for the successful holding of its 60th session in Geneva.
The year 2008 witnessed the first decline in the number of refugees around the world since 2006. UNHCR has been working since last year to expand its scope of protection and assistance, in a major effort to seek a durable resolution of the refugee problem. It has maintained good interaction and cooperation with other UN entities, international and regional organizations as well as national governments. China highly appreciates UNHCR's achievements over the past year thanks to its unflagging efforts under the outstanding leadership of the High Commissioner.
At present, UNHCR still faces grave challenges in its work. Various traditional and non-traditional security issues are intertwined; myriad conflicts have negatively impacted the peace, security and stability in many regions; the root causes of the refugee problem have yet to be eradicated; and the financial crisis has further worsened the plight of refugees and Internal Displaced Persons (IDPs). Further more, climate change, extreme poverty and natural disasters have also resulted in the surge of new refugees and IDPs, the security environment of UNHCR staff in the field has deteriorated and abuses of the international refugee protection mechanism continue. Developing countries remain the major receiving states of refugees without any significant amelioration of the crushing burden they have to bear.
China hopes that UNHCR will continue to take as its core responsibility the protection of refugees, intensify its efforts to continue increasing the protection of refugees and uphold the principle of "international solidarity and burden sharing" in, among others, helping developing countries strengthen their capacity building and facilitating a lasting solution to the refugee problem. Meanwhile, effective measures should be taken to safeguard the integrity of the international refugee protection mechanism to prevent its abuse. China believes that UNHCR will continue its pragmatic cooperation with national 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 honoured in real earnest its relevant international obligations. In recent years, China has maintained with UNHCR good cooperation and communication in capacity building, refugee legislation and procurement of emergency goods, among others. China is ready to further its cooperation with UNHCR and make its due contributions to the international cause for the protection of refugees.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.