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Remarks by Acting DPR Mr. YAO Shaojun at the Security Council VTC with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees

2020/06/18

Mr. President,

I thank High Commissioner Mr. Filippo Grandi for your informative briefing. China appreciates the tireless efforts made by UNHCR in helping refugees in different places.

Today UNHCR issued its annual report on Global Trends in forced displacement. According to what we heard from Mr. Grandi, the situation of global refugees remains worrisome. A complex range of crises have led to constant increase of refugee flows. The humanitarian needs are also on the rise, but are not adequately met due to social and economic difficulties, including the COVID-19 pandemic. In this backdrop, I’d like to highlight the following points:

Firstly, tackle the refugee issue under multilateral framework. Refugee issue is global challenge that requires global response. We need to enhance cooperation, strengthen the role of multilateral institutions such as UN and UNHCR. We need to work in compliance with relevant international laws, and also implement commitments made under the Global Compact on Refugees.

Developing countries host 85 per cent of global refugees, and their burden must be shared and alleviated. We call on international community, especially those with the capacity and responsibility, to scale up support and assistance to host countries and communities. It is also important to eliminate xenophobia, racism and discrimination against all refugees.

Secondly, address root causes of refugee flows and displacement. Most of refugees come from conflict situations that are on the Security Council’s agenda. We must take a holistic approach with broader efforts on peace and development. We need to invest more on conflict prevention and resolution, peace building, poverty eradication, and development cooperation. Only in this way, can we create the necessary conditions for refugees to return, and let them enjoy a peaceful and prosperous life in their home countries.

Different UN bodies should contribute according to their respective mandates and achieve synergy. The Security Council should promote dispute settlement by peacefully means, and find political solutions to hotspot issues on its agenda.

Many civilians became refugees when their home countries were dragged into conflicts by use of force unauthorized by the Security Council. Such kind of violation of UN Charter should not happen again.

Thirdly, uphold the principles of objectivity and neutrality. In dealing with refugee matters, the international community and UNHCR must stay objective and neutral, avoid double standards and politicization. It is key for the credibility of international refugee-protection mechanism. This mechanism should not be used as shield for terrorists and criminals, nor as a tool of interference into internal affairs of other countries.

Mr. President,

China has been working actively with the international community, to address the global challenge of refugee by adopting a people-centered approach. We are promoting political settlement of disputes, participating in UN peacekeeping operations, and providing humanitarian and development assistance to people in need. We have maintained good cooperative relations with UNHCR, and are willing to further strengthen such relations.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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