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People's Daily Online

More cross-line aid delivery in Syria, no unilateral sanctions -- Chinese envoy

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 13:46, July 10, 2021

UNITED NATIONS, July 9 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese envoy on Friday called for the enhancing of cross-line aid delivery in Syria and the lifting of unilateral sanctions against the country.

Zhang Jun, China's permanent representative to the United Nations, made the appeal after the Security Council adopted a resolution to extend the authorization of the cross-border aid mechanism for 12 months.

China welcomes the fact that the council unanimously adopted the draft resolution on the extension of humanitarian delivery in Syria. China attaches great importance to the humanitarian situation in Syria and supports the international community and UN agencies in scaling up humanitarian assistance to Syrian people in line with UN guiding principles, he told the Security Council in an explanation of China's vote.

In China's view, all humanitarian operations in Syria should be based on the full respect for the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity, he said.

"The cross-border mechanism is a special arrangement conceived under specific circumstances. And as such, 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," said Zhang.

It should be stressed that unilateral sanctions are the main obstacles to improving the humanitarian situation in Syria. The UN secretary-general, the high commissioner for human rights, and the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs have repeatedly expressed concerns over the negative humanitarian consequences brought about by the unilateral sanctions, and have called for the lifting of these measures. The international community enjoys a broad consensus on this, he said.

The cross-border mechanism is a controversial matter, both politically and legally, whereas the cross-line mechanism should be the dominant channel for delivering humanitarian assistance. Expression of support for cross-line assistance must not remain empty words. The Security Council should identify what stands in the way of cross-line delivery and urge parties concerned to open up as early as possible the delivery route from Damascus to Northwest Syria, he said.

At the same time, it is of critical importance to enhance the monitoring of cross-border delivery so as to help prevent the border crossing from being used in a manner that goes beyond the council's mandate, said Zhang.

"As it is the Security Council that has mandated the establishment of the cross-border mechanism, it naturally bears the responsibility of ensuring the transparency and impartiality of the mechanism and guarantee its humanitarian nature."

Thanks to the joint efforts by all the parties concerned, elements were included in the draft resolution that the Security Council just voted on, with regard to enhancing cross-line delivery, strengthening the transparency of the cross-border mechanism, post-war reconstruction and COVID-19 response, said Zhang.

These elements reflect the legitimate concerns of China and other council members. Their inclusion is a right step toward properly and comprehensively resolving the Syrian humanitarian issue under the new circumstances, he said.

In view of this, China voted in favor of the draft resolution. However, at the same time, China still believes that there was much to improve in the draft, especially when it comes to calling in clear terms for the lifting of unilateral sanctions.

China expects Security 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 challenges in the humanitarian situation in Syria and guaranteeing the well-being of the Syrian people, he said.

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