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Protection of civilians must respect national sovereignty, unity, territorial integrity: Chinese ambassador

(Xinhua)

08:59, November 10, 2011

UNITED NATIONS, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) -- Protection of civilians in armed conflicts must uphold the principle of respecting sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of state as well as non-interference of internal affairs, said Chinese UN envoy here on Wednesday.

The remarks came as Li Baodong, the Chinese permanent representative to the United Nations, addressed an open debate of the Security Council on protection of civilians in armed conflicts.

The recent practice of the Security Council has triggered a new round of debate and reflection on the subject in the international community, Li said.

"Action of protecting civilians must comply with purposes and principles of the UN Charter, particularly the principle of sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of state as well as non-interference of internal affairs," Li said. "The actions must be authorized by the Security Council and undertaken in an orderly manner under the UN framework. "

"The relevant actions should be focused on pushing for an earlier ceasefire, settling disputes and differences through political means such as dialogue and negotiations, supporting the good offices and mediation of the parties concerned including regional organizations and the secretary-general of the UN, rather than the other way round," Li noted.

China always stands for peaceful settlement of conflicts. The practices have shown that the Security Council's actions to protect civilians requires serious and careful discussions. There should also be strict provisions on the mandate, implementing parties and implementing conditions, according to the Chinese ambassador.

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