Remarks by Ambassador Dai Bing at Security Council Briefing on Maintenance of International Peace and Security: Follow-up on the Implementation of Resolution 2532 (2020)
25 January 2021
China thanks USG DiCarlo, USG Lacroix, USG Khare and USG Lowcock for their briefings.
In July last year, the Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2532, supporting Secretary-General’s global ceasefire initiative and calling for a people-centered approach in fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic. This resolution points out a direction for the maintenance of international peace and security in the context of the pandemic. So far, more than 180 countries have endorsed the global ceasefire initiative, and remarkable progress has been made in the situations of Libya, Sudan, and other countries. Regrettably, however, even under the impact of the pandemic, some conflicts are still going on. Some countries that had ceased fighting previously are once again in turmoil.
2021 is a critical year for the global fight against the pandemic. The Council should take this opportunity to step up the implementation of resolution 2532, strive to promote a global ceasefire and unite to fight the pandemic.
First, we need to step up efforts for ceasefire and cessation of violence. In armed conflicts in the context of the pandemic, no one wins. In the face of the common enemy of this virus, all parties to the conflict should unconditionally cease hostilities, leave the battlefield of guns and fires, and go to the frontline of the pandemic. The UN nations should seize this opportunity to follow up on the implementation in a timely manner and step up good offices to create more space for political settlements.
Second, we need to coordinate the pandemic prevention and control with the work of the UN on the ground. Pandemic mitigation, peacekeeping and humanitarian work are there to save lives, and should be carried out in an integrated manner. We should continue with our diplomatic engagements, dialogue and coordination, and keep the momentum of political settlement of hotspot issues. It is necessary to stabilize the supply chain, ensure the delivery of humanitarian supplies and enhance the protection of safety and health of UN personnel on the ground. The UN Secretariat, host countries and TCCs should strengthen communication and prepare feasible vaccination programs for people in the field as soon as possible.
Third, we should increase support for countries in conflict to fight the pandemic. These countries in conflict are the weak link in the global fight against the pandemic. The international community should step up its support to these countries, increase aid delivery and exchange of experience, and strengthen capacity building, so that vaccines will be accessible and affordable in these conflict affected countries. Meanwhile, these countries should also make efforts to create conditions for the international community to support the fight against the pandemic.
Fourth, unilateral sanctions should be lifted as soon as possible. Unilateral sanctions violate international law, seriously weaken the capacity of countries concerned to access necessary anti-epidemic resources, endanger the lives and health of innocent civilians and lead to serious humanitarian consequences. We urge the countries concerned to comply with the international call for an immediate lifting of the illegal unilateral sanctions.
Unity and cooperation is the most powerful weapon in the fight against the pandemic. Science and facts are the most essential to go by. Multilateralism is the most effective approach. The politicization of the pandemic will only lead to the ravage of the virus and the further spread of the pandemic. And that is not workable. China sincerely hopes that the Security Council, at a new starting point of the new year, will stick to the correct direction in the fight against the pandemic and lead by example in boosting confidence for and providing impetus to the global cause against the pandemic.
The Chinese government and people through arduous efforts have made major achievements in the fight against the pandemic. We have launched the largest global emergency humanitarian operation in the history of China, providing anti-epidemic assistance to more than 150 countries and 10 international organizations and sending 36 medical expert groups to 34 countries in need. As the largest producer of medical supplies, China has provided more than 220 billion masks, 2.3 billion protective suits and 1 billion testing kits to countries around the world. Vaccine is an important tool to fight the pandemic.
China already has one vaccine in use with conditional approval, and many others in clinical trials at different stages. Despite the huge demand for vaccines within China, we are providing support and assistance within our abilities to other countries, especially developing countries in a variety of ways. As of now, many countries are using the Chinese vaccines. China has also joined WHO’s COVAX and actively supports the G20 in promoting international cooperation on vaccines and will continue to advance the equitable distribution of vaccines and strive to make vaccines a public good that is accessible and affordable to people of all countries.
I thank you, Mr. President.