China calls for strengthened protection of humanitarian workers
                 English.news.cn | 2014-08-20 06:36:09 | Editor: yan

UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese envoy on Tuesday called on the international community to take coordinated and concerted actions to strengthen the protection of humanitarian workers.

Wang Min, China's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, made the call here at a Security Council meeting on the protection of humanitarian workers in armed conflict.

Aug. 19 is the World Humanitarian Day, which honors the efforts of aid workers.

"Humanitarian workers are constantly subject to various forms of violent attacks. Some of them even lost their lives as a result of these attacks," Wang told the meeting.

Condemning such attacks, he stressed that the protection of humanitarian workers is the responsibility of conflicting parties.

"All parties to armed conflicts should abide by the international law, including the international humanitarian law and the conventions governing the safety of UN personnel, and honor the obligation of protecting humanitarian workers," he said.

Wang underlined that, in providing comprehensive protection to aid workers, the United Nations, member states and humanitarian agencies need to take coordinated and concerted actions so as to form synergy.

The UN, For its part, should fully leverage its advantage, make an in-depth analysis and evaluation of the risks and challenges in carrying out humanitarian relief work in conflict zones based on respecting the views of countries involved, keep communication and coordination with conflicting parties, and strengthen protection of humanitarian workers, Wang said.

"Integrated measures have to be taken to effectively cope with all security challenges faced by humanitarian workers," he added.

The Chinese envoy also pointed out that the key to stepping up the protection of humanitarian workers lies in the prevention and resolution of conflicts.

The Security Council "should actively carry out political mediation and preventative diplomacy, promote parties concerned to resolve differences through peaceful means such as dialogue and negotiation, prevent and curb escalation of conflict, and work for political solution, thus to alleviate the sufferings of humanitarian workers from its root causes," said Wang.

In addition, he noted that UN humanitarian agencies and relief organizations, while carrying out humanitarian relief efforts in conflicts, should comply with the UN charter; uphold the principles of humanitarianism, neutrality, impartiality and independence; fully respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of countries involved; and avoid engaging in conflicts or supporting any parties.

"This is essential for humanitarian relief efforts to win understanding and trust from all parties. It is also an important guarantee for the safety of humanitarian workers," he said.

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