Remarks by Ambassador Zhang Jun at the UN Security Council Open Debate on Advancing Public-Private Humanitarian Partnership

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September 14, 2023

Mr. President,

First, I welcome you presenting over today’s meeting. I would also like to thank the Executive Director Cindy McCain, Mr. Jared Cohen, and Mr. Michael Miebach for their briefings just now.

The humanitarian cause, as a common endeavor of all mankind, can build the greatest consensus across different civilizations. The international community should practice true multilateralism, promote international humanitarianism, unite all actors, including the public and private sectors and civil society, step up investment, jointly face challenges, and continuously improve the humanitarian situation in relevant countries and regions.

First, we should keep up the humanitarian investment. The current global humanitarian landscape faces unprecedented difficulties and challenges. According to the OCHA report released this June, 360 million people worldwide need humanitarian assistance with a huge humanitarian funding gap of 43 billion US dollars. Women and children in many regions, with little access to timely assistance, suffer from hunger and displacement, which is heart-wrenching. Today’s meeting calls for public-private humanitarian partnership, which can be a useful compliment to scaling up humanitarian financing.

For a long time, multinational corporations have benefited immensely from the resources and markets of developing countries and thus bear the responsibility to help relevant countries out of their humanitarian predicament and make greater contributions to their people’s livelihood and well-being as a due responsibility. At the same time, official assistance from developed countries is the main channel for international humanitarian financing. Their financial commitments should be fulfilled on time and in full. The participation of the private sector should not lead to governments cutting their investment or shifting the responsibility. It is worth noting that in some conflict-affected regions and countries, humanitarian funding is being arbitrarily cut back, exacerbating the humanitarian plight of the local population, Which should not happen.

Second, we should adhere to the fundamental humanitarian principles. Humanitarian actions should be carried out in accordance with the UN Charter and GA Resolution 46/182, adhere to the principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality, and independence, and respect the sovereignty, laws, and customs of recipient countries. Public and private institutions, despite their different natures, should both stick to the principle of non-interference in internal affairs when providing international humanitarian assistance, and should not attach any political preconditions to their aids or impose their will on others, let alone seek ulterior political interests in this process. A few countries under the pretext of democracy and human rights have all too easily cut or even suspended humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan and other countries, which will only victimize innocent civilians, worsen socioeconomic crisis in Afghanistan, and contravene the spirit of humanitarianism.

For quite some time, at the Security Council, there has been constant controversy over the issue of humanitarian access. We advocate against complicating simple issues and moreso politicizing issues of a professional nature. We should resolve differences through dialogue and consultation, base ourselves on the national conditions of the countries concerned, and find effective ways to ensure that humanitarian supplies reach those in need quickly and safely without hindrance,

Third, we should establish efficient partnerships on an equal footing. Ultimately, humanitarian assistance is to benefit the recipient country, with its effectiveness and success to be measured by how well it is received among the population in the recipient country. Humanitarian agencies, in determining priorities, modalities, and projects, should not only communicate with key donors, but also hear more the views of recipient countries and various local actors. The private sector, in its participation in humanitarian actions, should make use of its comparative advantages and be more relevant to the actual needs of the countries concerned. It has been proven that by effectively increasing the voice and representation of recipient countries, humanitarian actions will be delivered in a more efficient and targeted manner with final results that will better stand the test of time.

For some time, international humanitarian assistance has been overly focused on certain countries.for the DRC, Somalia, Haiti, South Sudan, and the Sahel, among countries or regions, humanitarian assistance in those countries or regions are severely underfunded. A situation like this is not normal and cannot go on as such. We should promote the overall coordination among UN humanitarian agencies, allocate resources fairly and rationally, and help all countries in need.

Fourth, we should promote humanitarianism and development in an integrated manner. Humanitarian crises in some countries are rooted in inter aila their deteriorating economic situation, the heightened threat from climate change, and energy and food crises, all bogged down to development at the end of the day. The key to fundamentally reducing humanitarian needs and weaning off dependence on humanitarian assistance lies in people-centered development. In some countries, despite decade-long international humanitarian actions and significant investment in human and material resources, the humanitarian situation is yet to be fundamentally alleviated, which merits careful reflection.

China is of the view that we must look beyond traditional means of humanitarian assistance and attach greater importance to the path of economic development. We must go further than short-term help and seek long-term fundamental solutions. We must rise above external blood transfusions and enhance the organic blood generation capacity. Humanitarian action should be effectively dovetailed with the development strategies of the countries concerned with greater investment in infrastructure, industrial and agricultural development, education and training, among others. The private sector has a unique role to play in promoting trade, investment, and financing cooperation and job creation, hereby aligning humanitarian assistance more closely with sustainable development.

It is worth noting that illegal unilateral sanctions severely affect the ability of the public sector of the countries concerned to provide basic services such as education and food supply and interfere with the private sector’s regular activities in trade, investment, and business operation, and as such have become the biggest obstacle to public-private humanitarian cooperation. The international community should jointly urge relevant countries to immediately lift unilateral sanctions, eliminate their negative effects, and create favorable conditions for international humanitarian actions.

Mr. President,

President Xi Jinping, during his recent meeting with the president of the ICRC in Beijing, pointed out that China is an active supporter, participant, and contributor to the international humanitarian cause. China, by putting forward the Belt and Road Initiative, the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative, and the Global Civilization Initiative, hopes to work with other countries to promote economic development, better livelihood, mutual benefits, and win-win results, and contribute China’s ideas and solutions to strengthening global governance and addressing humanitarian issues. We stand ready, together with the international community, to continue to actively participate in multilateral and bilateral humanitarian relief operations and continue to provide support and assistance within our capacity to countries in need.

I thank you, Mr. President.

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