The humanitarian principles of neutrality and impartiality need to be strictly complied in alleviating the humanitarian crisis in Syria, China’s UN envoy said Thursday.
The statement came as Li Baodong, China’s permanent representative to the UN, addressed an open Security Council meeting on the humanitarian situation in Syria.
“The effort to abate the humanitarian crisis in Syria must be based on strict compliance with the humanitarian principles of neutrality and impartiality and respect for Syria’s sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity,” he said. ” Politicization of humanitarian issues must be avoided. Humanitarian relief efforts should never be militarized.”
Li noted that the UN should especially guard against and oppose any act of interfering in Syria’s internal affairs or military intervention under the pretext of humanitarian issues.
According to the statistics released by the United Nations Refugee Agency, more than 220,000 people have fled Syria to seek safety and security as refugees in neighboring countries, and their number is rapidly growing. At present, more than 2.5 million people are in great need of humanitarian assistance and protection inside Syria, and their most pressing need is water, sanitation, food, shelter, blankets and health care.
Li said that the United Nations should play a leading role in coordinating international humanitarian relief efforts for Syria.
“China calls upon all parties in Syria to observe relevant international laws, maintain cooperation with UN and other humanitarian relief agencies and ensure timely delivery and distribution of humanitarian supplies,” he said. “Given the rather big financial shortfalls for international humanitarian relief efforts for Syria, China calls upon relevant countries to timely and fully honor their assistance pledges.”
Li stressed that in resolving the humanitarian crisis in Syria, both symptoms and root causes should be addressed.
“Failure of all parties in Syria to make good their commitment to a cease-fire and cessation of violence and frequent attacks and sabotage by the ‘third element’ constitute the direct reason for the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Syria,” he said.
“The top priority now is to cease all forms of terrorism and violence in Syria as soon as possible,” said the ambassador. “The fundamental way out is to achieve immediate cease-fire and cessation of violence and launch a political transition process led by the Syrian people.”