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Statement by Ambassador LI Baodong, Head of the Chinese Government Delegation, at the 30th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement


Madame Chair,

First of ail, on behalf of the Chinese government delegation, please allow me to express my congratulations on your election as Chair of this conference. I assure you that the Chinese government delegation will support and cooperate with you and the bureau during the conference.

Madame Chair,

Since the birth of the international Red Cross and Red Crescent movement in 1863, the international humanitarian movement has been developing with great vitality and has become an important sign of human civilization and progress. The international Red Cross and Red Crescent movement, with the purposes to protect life and health, ensure respect for the human being, promote mutual understanding, friendship and cooperation and lasting peace amongst all peoples, is playing a more and more important role in international humanitarian cause. Although the cold war was over a long time ago, the world today is still not peaceful. The traditional threat of regional wars and armed conflicts has not subsided. Meanwhile, under the context of globalization, the threats of non-traditional security problems have been increasing. Terrorism, transnational crimes, epidemics, the lack of energy and natural resources as well as climate change have increasingly impact on the global security, stability and development and humanitarian crises break out from time to time. Members of the International Red Cross movement should, on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, mobilize all possible forces and resources to respond to these new types of humanitarian challenges.

To this end, I would like to propose the following points:

First, to seek peace and promote development.

Peace and development are still the main themes in the world today. To seek peace and promote development has become an irresistible trend of history. We believe that to use force or threaten to use force could neither maintain world peace nor contribute to developing international humanitarian cause. Only peaceful solutions such as dialogue and cooperation are the right means to settle international disputes. Development is crucial for maintaining world peace. Only through development, the North-South gap could be narrowed and long term stability and common prosperity could be achieved.

Second, to seek unity and strengthen cooperation.

Today we are faced with great challenges brought about by global issues including climate change, international migration, urban violence and influenza pandemic, which cannot be addressed by one country or one organization alone. Therefore, we have to strengthen cooperation in the spirit of unity. Such cooperation should be carried out at various levels. We support diverse forms of humanitarian cooperation at international, regional and bilateral levels. Relevant international organizations and developed countries need to assume more responsibility by actively helping developing countries strengthen their capacity building through financial and technical support.

Third, to adhere to the principles and emphasize spreading of international humanitarian law.

International humanitarian law, especially the four Geneva Conventions and their protocols, are the cornerstone of the humanitarian cause. We are pleased to see that Geneva conventions became the first conventions signed by all countries in the world, which demonstrates the importance attached to the humanitarian cause by the international community. We should take further steps to promote and implement the international humanitarian law, spreading its basic principles to every corner of the world to ensure that relevant humanitarian institutions are able to provide prompt and necessary assistance and protection to all the victims in wars and armed conflicts in accordance with the principles of humanitarianism and neutralism.

Fourth, to put emphasis on mechanism and action.

To develop the humanitarian cause needs support from all governments in strengthening the National Red Cross societies and building the capacity of disaster relief and surveillance. The role of national Red Cross societies should be fully recognized. Especially, all governments should attach great importance to the work of national Red Cross societies in spreading the international humanitarian law, disaster relief and surveillance and social health and welfare.

In recent years, the frequent outbreak of natural disasters in large scale, with the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami in particular, tells us that the traditional humanitarian disaster relief mechanism can not meet the requirements of the new situation. We should take concrete and effective actions to strengthen disaster monitoring and forecast and information sharing, so as to better protect people's life and property.

Madame Chair,

The Chinese people have a fine tradition of helping those in difficulties and aiding those in peril. We have attached great importance to international humanitarian cause and have participated actively in international humanitarian cooperation. Over a long period of time, we have provided humanitarian support within our capacity to other countries. When the Indian Ocean Tsunami broke out in 2004, we provided 1.3 billion RMB, the largest amount of China's humanitarian aid in record. We successfully held the Disaster and Emergence Response Management Seminar in Developing Countries last September. At present, we are actively preparing to establish an Asia Giant Disaster Study Center. China has ratified the majority of the international humanitarian conventions and honored its obligations in implementing and disseminating the international humanitarian law. Last June, on the 30th anniversary of the Two Additional Protocols of the Geneva Conventions, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China and the International Committee of the Red Cross jointly hosted a seminar to promote the dissemination of international humanitarian law in the Asia Pacific region. Apart from the above, I would like to take this opportunity to inform you that China has established the National Committee on International Humanitarian Law.

The Chinese Government will continue to support the noble cause of the Red Cross movement. We attach great importance to the positive role played by the ICRC in international humanitarian cause and we are ready to further strengthen cooperation with the ICRC. The theme of this conference, "Together for Humanity", reflects the common aspirations of people all over the world. We believe that the international humanitarian cause will be full of vitality with the joint efforts of all parties who participate in this conference.

Thank you all.

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