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Statement by Ambassador WU Haitao at the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly on Agenda Item 69: Strengthening of the Coordination of Humanitarian and Disaster Relief Assistance of the United Nations, including Special Economic Assistance

2016/12/08

Mr. President,

In recent years, the world has been faced with daunting challenges of intertwining traditional and untraditional security threats, protracted regional conflicts, natural disasters, climate change, food crisis and the problem of refugees/migrants. The overall international humanitarian situation is dire. It is imperative for the international community to unite together, forge consensus, address both the symptoms and the root causes and take effective measures to respond to the increasingly severe situation. In this connection, China wishes to stress the following points:

First, respect for the international law and norms governing international relations constitute the basic premise for effective humanitarian assistance. International humanitarian assistance must abide by the UN Charter and the principles of humanism, neutrality and impartiality, respect the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of recipient countries and comply with international law and the law of the host countries. The international community must persist in using political means to seek peaceful solutions to disputes, avoid politicizing humanitarian issues, and uphold the non-military nature of humanitarian assistance.

Secondly, helping developing countries realize development represents the fundamental way to reduce the need for humanitarian relief. The root of many problems facing our world today can be traced to poverty and backwardness. Therefore, their fundamental resolution lies in promoting development. While seeking to effectively respond to short-term humanitarian needs, the international community must work together to implement the 2030 Agenda and realize development. The increase of humanitarian resources must not be at the expense of resources in the development area. Developed countries need to effectively fulfill their ODA commitments, especially to increase support in terms of capital, technology and capacity building to the African countries and the LDCs, so as to help developing countries embark on the path towards durable peace and stability and economic development and prosperity.

Thirdly, climate change and food insecurity have increased the risk and human vulnerability vis à vis natural disaster. At the same time, rapid development of ICT has greatly enhanced mankind’s ability to prevent and respond to natural disasters. The international community should, on the basis of fully respecting the national conditions and needs of the affected countries, effectively help them increase their capacity in disaster risk management and build their capacity in disaster prevention, preparedness, response and resilience through increasing input, transferring technology and knowledge to developing countries and strengthening infrastructure building.

Fourthly, efficient operation of the UN humanitarian system is an important guarantee for the effective delivery of humanitarian assistance. OCHA should, according to its mandate, play an important role in coordinating international humanitarian assistance, establish and improve member state-led cooperative partnerships, guarantee equal participation of all countries, and increase the representation and voice of developing countries in international humanitarian affairs. Humanitarian assistance needs to produce real results that meet the actual need of recipient governments and peoples and correspond to their priorities. There is need to push for synergy of humanitarian assistance at the national, regional and international levels.

Mr. President,

China attaches great importance to and takes an active part in international humanitarian relief work, and has in recent years provided emergency humanitarian assistance to dozens of countries. We will continue to actively participate in bilateral and multilateral humanitarian actions within the limit of our capabilities and contribute further to the international humanitarian cause. China is a natural disaster prone country. While continuously improving its own disaster management capacity, the Chinese government has engaged in international cooperation in the area of disaster reduction, pushed for the establishment and improvement of international disaster reduction cooperation mechanisms and fully participated in international disaster relief operations. China stands ready to further deepen international cooperation and exchange, and to jointly improve disaster prevention, reduction and relief capacity with international community.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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