UNITED NATIONS – The UN Security Council on Saturday adopted a resolution, with 12 votes in favor and three abstentions, on the mandate renewal for the cross-border humanitarian mechanism in Syria.
Resolution 2533 decides to renew the border crossing of Bab al-Hawa for 12 months, until July 10, 2021. China, Russia and the Dominican Republic voted in abstention. Zhang Jun, China’s permanent representative to the United Nations, made remarks in explanation of China’s vote.
Zhang stressed that it is China’s consistent position that the international community should increase humanitarian assistance to the Syrian people on the basis of respecting Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
China always has reservations about the cross-border mechanism, he said. Considering the actual situation in Syria, China does not object to retaining the cross-border mechanism at this stage, and at the same time, China believes that the cross-border mechanism should be adjusted accordingly in light of the developments on the ground, the envoy said.
He pointed out that years of illegal sanctions have been exacerbating the economic and humanitarian crises in Syria, devastating livelihoods, and bringing untold sufferings to innocent civilians.
The sanctions have also seriously undermined Syria’s ability to respond to COVID-19, Zhang said, adding that in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, lifting unilateral coercive measures has become more important and urgent for improving the humanitarian situation in Syria.
“We urge the United States to lift its unilateral coercive measures on Syria immediately, stop causing more harm to the lives and livelihoods of the Syrian people, stop politicizing the humanitarian issue and putting up hypocritical political show, and demonstrate responsible attitude and spirit of humanitarianism with concrete actions,” he said.