Chinese envoy calls for removal of sanctions against Syria
China's permanent representative to the United Nations Zhang Jun. /Permanent Mission of China to the UN

China's permanent representative to the United Nations Zhang Jun. /Permanent Mission of China to the UN

A Chinese envoy on Wednesday called for the expansion of cross-line humanitarian assistance within Syria and the removal of unilateral sanctions against the country.

The humanitarian situation in Syria is facing multiple challenges, including a declining economy, sharp depreciation of the country's currency, severe food insecurity, rapid transmission of COVID-19, and oil shortages, said Zhang Jun, China's permanent representative to the United Nations.

To improve the humanitarian situation requires joint global efforts and a holistic approach, he said.

It is important to have the Syrian government fully play its leading role and continue to scale up cross-line humanitarian relief operations, Zhang told the Security Council.

China appreciates various UN agencies' humanitarian assistance delivered to millions of people every month through cross-line operations. In April, the World Health Organization provided 348,000 medical services to civilians in Northeast Syria from within the country, proving the effectiveness and feasibility of cross-line assistance, and also pointing to room for further expansion, he noted.

"The United Nations should strengthen cooperation with the International Committee of the Red Cross and other humanitarian agencies and make every effort to open up the cross-line access from Damascus to Idlib in the Northwest," said Zhang, adding that when making decisions on humanitarian issues in Syria, the Security Council should put forward specific requirements for scaling up cross-line humanitarian assistance.

Years of illegal sanctions have severely damaged Syria's economic and social development, exacerbated its humanitarian crisis and weakened its ability to respond to COVID-19, he said, urging that unilateral sanctions and economic blockade be lifted immediately to help Syria restore normal order.

Zhang said that it is necessary to stick to dialogue and consultation to properly resolve differences on the renewal of the authorization for the cross-border mechanism.

China's consistent position is that the international community should deliver humanitarian assistance to Syria on the basis of respect for Syria's sovereignty and territorial integrity, Zhang said.

The Security Council should specify clear requirements for cross-border humanitarian assistance, monitor the whole process, ensure neutrality and transparency, and make sure that it is not used for other purposes, he stressed.

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UN chief calls for expansion of humanitarian aid to Syrians

Source(s): Xinhua News Agency

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