Envoy calls for effort to bring peace to Syria

2021-03-30 12:05:03

Zhang Jun, China's permanent representative to the UN. [Photo/Xinhua] China's permanent representative to the United Nations urged the international community on Monday to implement comprehensive policies to help Syria soon meet the goals of restoring peace, stability and development. Ambassador Zhang Jun told a UN Security Council briefing on the humanitarian situation in Syria that many problems reflected in the current situation in the war-torn country are worthy of deep reflection. The conflict in Syria has taken a tremendous toll on the country and its people, Zhang said. The respect for national sovereignty and territorial integrity, a norm of international law, must be upheld, the ambassador said. Political settlement is the only way to deal with hot-button issues. A development path chosen by the people that suit the national conditions of the country is the ultimate solution, he added. Zhang said regime change is not an option nor will it work. Unilateral sanctions can only aggravate the situation, and external military intervention can only cause greater disasters and serious consequences, he added. Under the current situation, the international body should coordinate political, security, economic, humanitarian and other fields to advance the early settlement of the Syrian issue, the envoy said. "We must firmly grasp the correct direction of the political settlement, adhere to the principle of a 'Syrian-led and Syrian-owned' political process, and support the Syrians in deciding the future of their own country," Zhang said. The global community should also "give full play to" the leading role of the Syrian government, support the cross-line deliveries of humanitarian supplies to northern Syria, and fundamentally improve the humanitarian situation in Syria. Unilateral coercive measures against Syria have become a major roadblock to Syria's economic recovery and must be lifted immediately, Zhang said. External occupation of Syria must come to an end. Syria's sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity must all be maintained, the envoy added. The right to exercise self-defense is clearly stated in the UN Charter, which cannot be misinterpreted or abused, Zhang said. "We must resolutely eradicate terrorism in Syria. Politicization and double standards on the issue of anti-terrorism are harmful to others and ourselves," he said. An early settlement of the Syrian issue is the wish of the Syrian people and is in line with the interests of the international community, the envoy said. China sincerely hopes that Syria will be able to restore peace and tranquility as soon as possible. China is willing to continue to play a constructive role in that regard, he added. Monday's Security Council briefing came in the 10th year of conflict in Syria. The last decade has left Syrians coping with immense economic hardship. During Monday's meeting, the UN Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock spoke about the dire situation in Syria and asked for donations from the international community. "The Syrian pound fell to its lowest point ever against the dollar this month. Because food is imported, one consequence of that is that food prices are at unprecedented levels. And a consequence of that is that more than 12 million people no longer have reliable access to food," he told the Security Council. The UN estimated that 13.4 million people across all parts of Syria require humanitarian aid, 20 percent more than last year, he said. Humanitarian organizations coordinated by the UN are seeking an estimated $4.2 billion for the response inside Syria, to reach 12.3 million people in need, he said. Another $5.8 billion is required for support to countries hosting Syrian refugees in the region.