China’s UN ambassador called for improvements in the design and enforcement of Security Council sanctions
United Nations, February 7 (People’s Daily Online) zhang Jun, China’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, called on the international community to seriously consider how to improve the design and implementation of the SECURITY Council sanctions and reduce the negative impact.Zhang said sanctions are a special tool granted to the Security Council by the UN Charter.China always believes that all UN member States have the obligation to earnestly implement the sanctions authorized by the Security Council, while the Security Council should always handle the sanctions issue with caution and responsibility.Over the past two decades, the SECURITY Council’s sanctions regime has been expanding. The negative impact on people’s livelihood cannot be ignored, and it has increasingly disrupted the normal economic and social activities of ordinary people and third countries.The Council has not given this the attention it deserves.To this end, China proposes the following.Zhang stressed that sanctions are a means rather than an end.Sanctions are designed to create favorable conditions for a political settlement and cannot be a substitute for diplomatic efforts.The Security Council should refrain from the impulse to resort to sanctions or the threat of sanctions, and give priority to non-coercive means such as good office, mediation and negotiation.The Security Council should closely follow the core issues and objectives and precisely design the sanctions regime.The force and scope of coercive measures should be carefully measured and clear provisions should be used to minimize collateral damage. Humanitarian assistance should not be seen as a violation of security Council sanctions.Member States should faithfully implement security Council sanctions.In particular, China opposes any diplomatic pressure or coercion on any country under the pretext of ensuring the implementation of SECURITY Council resolutions to undermine the sovereignty and security of other countries.The Security Council should closely follow and comprehensively assess the humanitarian, economic and social impact of sanctions.The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and the UN missions deployed in the countries concerned should be required to monitor the negative effects of sanctions and report to the Security Council in a timely manner, which should make arrangements and adjustments in a timely manner.Zhang pointed out that the Security Council should establish a transparent, standardized and operable exemption clause.At present, the common problems are the high threshold of humanitarian immunity, unclear standards and long application period, which need to be solved urgently.Permanent exemption mechanisms should be established for specific humanitarian agencies and supplies;Special arrangements should be made in case of special circumstances or irresistible factors.For example, given the severe COVID-19 situation, the Security Council should actively consider suspending or relaxing sanctions so as to mitigate the impact of the epidemic on people’s livelihood.He stressed that, as a basic principle, The Council’s sanctions should not be indefinite.All new sanctions regimes should include a sunset clause.For the existing sanctions regime, clear and feasible withdrawal criteria should be formulated.The Council would conduct periodic reviews and, once the criteria were met, adjust or lift the sanctions in a timely manner.Zhang pointed out that the selection of experts for the SECURITY Council sanctions Committee should adhere to the highest professional standards, reflect diversity and fair geographical distribution.Emphasis should be placed on increasing the representation of candidates from developing countries.Experts should perform their duties impartially and maintain confidentiality during and after their employment.The sanctions committee should take stern action against leaks.From 2000 to 2006, the Security Council set up an informal working group on sanctions, which has done useful work for improving the security Council sanctions.China proposes that the Security Council re-establish a working group on sanctions to comprehensively review the humanitarian and negative impact of security Council sanctions and put forward targeted suggestions for improvement.The Security Council should request the Secretariat to submit an evaluation report, and the Secretariat should improve the corresponding evaluation mechanism to make it comprehensive, fair and objective.The Council should consider forming a guiding document.Zhang jun said that when it comes to the negative impact of the Security Council sanctions, it is inevitable to mention the current security Council sanctions against the DEMOCRATIC People’s Republic of Korea.Since its adoption, Security Council resolution 2397 has had serious humanitarian consequences.Imports of agricultural machinery and tools, medical equipment, water purification pipes and other humanitarian goods for people’s livelihood have been severely restricted, food is in serious shortage, and medical conditions are backward.These problems were repeatedly reported by commission experts.China and Russia jointly proposed the dprK-related draft resolution at the UN Security Council last October, aiming to eliminate the humanitarian impact of sanctions on people’s livelihood and create favorable conditions for resuming dialogue and consultation and promoting political settlement.It is regrettable that individual Council members have chosen to refuse to discuss this draft resolution.China once again calls on relevant members to refrain from evading issues and take part in consultations on the draft resolution in a responsible and positive manner.Zhang jun said that the discussion on improving security Council sanctions should pay more attention to the harm of unilateral sanctions imposed by individual countries.Unilateral sanctions are often carried out under the pretext of implementing the Sanctions imposed by the Security Council. While causing huge disasters and chaos, they not only put the UN on the hook unnecessarily, but also weaken the authority and effectiveness of the Sanctions imposed by the Security Council itself.The humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan following the withdrawal of foreign troops last August is one example.Some people believe that security Council sanctions are hindering humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, but humanitarian aid has not increased significantly since the Security Council adopted a resolution last December to clear legal obstacles.Facts have proved that it is the unilateral sanctions imposed by relevant countries, rather than the decisions of the Security Council, that aggravate the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.Zhang pointed out that unilateral sanctions are extremely harmful, but it is of concern that some countries do not restrain themselves from unilateral sanctions, but abuse them to the point of addiction.We see that unilateral sanctions imposed under various names impede the economic and social development and scientific and technological progress of relevant countries, create and exacerbate humanitarian crises, infringe upon the basic rights of civilians, including women and children, greatly undermine the harmony and stability of international relations, and disrupt international economic, trade and scientific and technological cooperation.It even affected relevant countries’ payment of UN membership dues and normal participation in UN activities.It is undeniable that unilateral sanctions violate the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and have no basis in international law. They are a manifestation of hegemonism and power politics.We solemnly urge relevant countries to immediately stop unilateral sanctions and call on the international community to pay attention to the serious consequences of unilateral sanctions and jointly reject such illegal acts.