The United Nations Security Council has adopted a draft resolution on the mandate renewal of cross-border mechanism in Syria.
The council adopted Resolution 2585 on Friday, allowing cross-border aid into Syria from Turkey to run for another 12 months. Zhang Jun, China's permanent representative to the UN, explained China's vote.
Zhang said China attaches great importance to the humanitarian situation in Syria, and supports the international community and UN agencies in increasing humanitarian assistance to the Syrian people in line with the guiding principles of emergency humanitarian assistance.
For a long time, China has provided various kinds of assistance to Syria through bilateral and multilateral channels in terms of food, medicine, education, public service among others, and has played a positive role in improving the humanitarian situation on the ground.
Zhang stressed that all humanitarian assistance in Syria should be premised on the full respect of Syria's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Cross-border humanitarian delivery is a special arrangement made under specific circumstances, and it should be "subjected to timely assessment and necessary adjustment as to its efficacy and applicability in light of the situation on the ground, with a view to transitioning from cross-border to cross-line delivery", he said.
"Unilateral sanctions are the main obstacles in improving the humanitarian situation in the country," Zhang said.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs have repeatedly expressed concerns on the negative humanitarian consequences brought about by unilateral sanctions, and called for the lifting of these sanctions. On this, Zhang said the international community enjoys a broad consensus.
As the Security Council has mandated the establishment of a cross-border mechanism, Zhang said it naturally bears "responsibility for ensuring the transparency and impartiality of the mechanism and guaranteeing its humanitarian nature".
In view of this, China voted in favor of this draft resolution. However, Zhang said China still believes that there is much to improve in the draft, especially when it comes to calling for the lifting of unilateral sanctions.
"Now we expect council members to continue to take effective measures to eliminate the negative impact of unilateral sanctions, and to create favorable conditions for fundamentally overcoming the challenging humanitarian situation in Syria, and guaranteeing the well-being of the Syrian people," he said.
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