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Statement by Ambassador Dai Bing at the 75th Session of the UN General Assembly on Agenda Item 73: Strengthening of the Coordination of Humanitarian and Disaster Relief Assistance of the United Nations, including Special Economic Assistance

2020/12/11

Mr. President,

As we speak, the global humanitarian needs are increasing significantly due to the continued spread of COVID-19, intensifying regional conflicts, rising threats of climate change, frequent natural disasters and extreme weather events, desert locust infestation, the worsening food security situation, and the impacts of unilateral coercive measures. In such a grim context, it is imperative for the international community to uphold multilateralism, strengthen solidarity and cooperation, work together to combat COVID-19, and support countries and peoples in humanitarian emergencies in overcoming the increasingly serious humanitarian challenges. China wishes to emphasize the following.

First, we should strictly abide by international law and the norms governing international relations. Humanitarian assistance must follow the UN Charter and the General Assembly resolution 46/182 and remain humanitarian and professional. The sovereignty of recipient countries must be respected, their internal affairs must not be interfered with, and politicization of humanitarian issues should be avoided. All parties to conflict should respond positively to the Secretary-General Guterres’ call for a global ceasefire, and move toward political settlement through inclusive dialogue. All parties concerned must observe international humanitarian law, fulfill their obligations of protecting civilians, and ensure humanitarian access and effective humanitarian delivery. It is necessary to coordinate the efforts of the international community to push for the immediate lifting of unilateral coercive measures to facilitate full, effective and efficient response of all member states to COVID-19.

Second, we should increase humanitarian assistance and effectively improve emergency response capabilities of developing countries. This means sharing anti-epidemic experience, providing material and technological support, and conducting medicine and vaccine cooperation. More resources should be channeled to areas such as infectious diseases control, public health capacity-building, and food security. Humanitarian assistance should be scaled up for vulnerable people including women, children, the elderly and persons with disabilities. Vaccines should be a global public good and made accessible and affordable for vulnerable countries. The international community should effectively support developing countries strengthen their capacities in disaster prevention, risk reduction, preparedness and response, bolster the exchange and sharing of disaster information, and enhance disaster monitoring and early warning capabilities.

Third, we should put people at the center of our efforts and fundamentally reduce humanitarian needs. All our efforts, from clearing the impact of COVID-19 and getting back to normal, to ending conflicts and humanitarian crises, ultimately depend on the realization of people-centered development. The international community should place the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the heart of international development cooperation. Poverty eradication must be made a primary goal, and more resources must be directed to poverty reduction, education, health and infrastructure development, to achieve better social and economic recovery and address both the symptoms and root causes of humanitarian crises.

Mr. President,

China commends the UN system and humanitarian organizations for their efforts in coordinating and providing humanitarian assistance as well as rapidly responding to COVID-19. China pays tribute to the humanitarian and medical personnel for their dedication on the front lines. China firmly supports the United Nations in leading and coordinating international humanitarian assistance and the global cooperation to fight COVID-19. China welcomes Secretary-General Guterres’ call for a global ceasefire, the Global Humanitarian Response Plan and other relevant initiatives.

Upholding the vision of a community with a shared future for humankind, China has been vigorously engaged in international cooperation against COVID-19. China has sent 36 medical expert teams to 34 countries, and extended assistance to over 150 countries and international organizations. China has donated US$50 million respectively to the World Health Organization and the UN COVID-19 Global Humanitarian Response Plan, and worked with the UN to set up a global humanitarian response depot and hub in China. Once the COVID vaccines are developed and deployed in China, we will make them global public goods and provide them to other developing countries as our contribution to building a community of health for all.

China will work with the international community, actively participate in bilateral and multilateral humanitarian relief operations, and continue to support other developing countries within our capacity.

I thank you, Mr. President.

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