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Statement by Ambassador Zhang Yesui, Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations, at the 64th Session of the General Assembly on the Earthquake in Haiti

2010/01/22

 New York, 22 January 2010

Madam President,

The Chinese delegation wishes to thank you and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for the briefings on the latest developments of the earthquake and international relief efforts in Haiti. We thank the delegation of Brazil for submitting the resolution on the earthquake in Haiti to the General Assembly. We are pleased to note that the resolution has been adopted by consensus. This will send to the international community a positive signal of unity on the issue of disaster relief in Haiti.

(Photography by Shen Hong/Xinhua News Agency)

Madam President,

I wish to express, on behalf of the Chinese government and people, our deep sympathy and condolences for the heavy casualties and loss of property caused by the earthquake, and our sadness and condolences for the unprecedented casualties suffered by the United Nations.

Since the earthquake, China has done what it can to provide support and assistance to Haiti. Since its arrival in Haiti on January 13, the Chinese emergency rescue team has been working strenuously at the forefront of disaster relief in the country. The Red Cross Society of China provided one million US dollars of emergency aid to Haiti. The Chinese government also provided 30 million yuan (about 4.4 million US dollars) worth of supplies to the country. The first batch of the supplies arrived in Haiti on January 17,and the second batch, which was delayed due to limited capacity of the Haiti airport, will be delivered on January 26.Yesterday, the Chinese government announced its decision to contribute 2.6 million US dollars to the UN flash appeal for Haiti. By now, China has provided to Haiti more than 8 million dollars of assistance in cash or in kind. In addition, in light of the urgent needs of the earthquake areas, the Chinese government yesterday decided to send a 40-member medical care and epidemic prevention team to Haiti and provide medicine and medical equipment to the country.

Madam President,

We have noted that the disaster relief efforts in Haiti are now in full swing. The Chinese government appreciates the timely and effective response made by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the relevant UN agencies in disaster relief.

The United Nations is a universally recognized agency for international humanitarian relief and development. In the areas of humanitarian relief, early recovery, reconstruction and long-term development, the United Nations not only enjoys the authorization of Member States, but also has expertise and technological advantages.In recent years, the United Nations has accumulated ripe experience and established an effective coordination mechanism in the process of responding to such emergencies as the Indian Ocean Tsunami and the Myanmar cyclone.

To enhance coordination on humanitarian assistance and strengthen planning for the reconstruction efforts are the two priority areas for disaster relief in Haiti at this point. On the one hand, the United Nations needs to maintain close cooperation with the Haitian government, integrate the disaster relief endeavors of all parties, and improve the efficiency of the relief efforts. On the other hand, to make effective use of the international aid, it is imperative to take the issue of reconstruction into full account at the current rescue and relief phase and integrate it into the efforts for disaster relief. We hope that the United Nations will strengthen coordination in this regard. We support the early establishment of a UN reconstruction coordination mechanism through effective planning and speedy action, which will help coordinate international relief efforts in Haiti, make the best use of the relief funds and facilitate the reconstruction efforts.

Madam President,

As the rotating president of the Security Council for this month, China has maintained close contact and cooperation with the parties concerned on the issue of Haiti. After the earthquake, the Security Council reacted immediately. It issued two president's press statements on the situation in Haiti. On January 19, the Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 1908, which decided to send an additional 3,500 peacekeepers to MINUSTAH.The resolution will be of great significance for the security, disaster relief and reconstruction efforts in Haiti.

Before conclusion, I wish to thank the representative of Sudan for submitting, on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, the resolution on "international cooperation on humanitarian assistance in the field of natural disasters, from relief to development".  We welcome the adoption of the resolution by consensus.

Thank you, Madam President.

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