Chinese envoy urges UN Security Council to take prudent, responsible approach to sanctions
China's Permanent Representative to the UN Zhang Jun. /Xinhua

China's Permanent Representative to the UN Zhang Jun. /Xinhua

A Chinese envoy on Monday urged the UN Security Council to adopt a prudent and responsible approach to sanctions, raising the issues of sanctions imposed on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and unilateral sanctions.

"It has been China's consistent position that while all UN member states have the obligation to implement, in good faith, the sanctions authorized by the council, the council should take a prudent and responsible approach to sanctions," Zhang Jun, China's permanent representative to the United Nations, told the Security Council debate on "general issues relating to sanctions: preventing their humanitarian and unintended consequences."

"We need to consider, in all seriousness, how to take steps to improve the design and implementation of the council sanctions to minimize their adverse impact," added Zhang.

According to the ambassador, sanctions are meant to create enabling conditions for a political solution. "They are not a substitute for diplomatic efforts. The council should keep in check the impulse to resort too readily to sanctions or the threat of sanctions and should give precedence to non-compulsory measures, such as good offices, mediation and negotiation."

"The Security Council should closely monitor and comprehensively assess the humanitarian, economic and social impact of sanctions," said the ambassador, adding that "transparent, standardized and actionable exemption provisions should be established."

Talking about the sanctions imposed on the DPRK, Zhang said, "Resolution 2397 has brought about serious humanitarian consequences since its adoption," noting that the import of humanitarian livelihood goods, such as agricultural machinery, medical equipment and water purification pipes, has been severely restricted.

"There was a serious shortage of food and the conditions for medical care leave much to be desired. The experts of the 1718 committee have reported on these issues on many occasions," he said.

The ambassador said China and Russia co-sponsored a draft resolution on the DPRK in the Security Council last October, aiming to eliminate the humanitarian and livelihood impact of sanctions and create enabling conditions for resuming dialogue and consultation and supporting political solutions.

"Regrettably, however, a scant few council members chose to refuse to discuss this draft resolution. China once again calls on those members not to evade the issue and to participate in the consultations on the draft resolution in a responsible and positive manner," said the envoy.

Source(s): Xinhua News Agency

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