A Chinese envoy said Thursday that achieving peace is the best protection for children in Ukraine.
"Achieving peace is the best protection for children. Dialogue and negotiation is the most realistic and feasible way to reach a cease-fire," said Dai Bing, China's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations. "The international community should encourage Russia and Ukraine to return to the negotiation track and to keep accumulating political conditions for the restoration of peace."
China welcomes the presidential statement adopted by the Security Council on Ukraine on Friday, which calls for the peaceful settlement of international disputes and voices support for the UN secretary-general's efforts to promote peace, he told a Security Council meeting on the issue of children and education in Ukraine.
Sanctions will not bring peace, but will only accelerate the spillover of the crisis, triggering sweeping food, energy, and financial crises across the globe, and making children around the world suffer the bitter consequences. Children living in conflict situations in Afghanistan, Yemen, the Horn of Africa, as well as the Sahel region are bearing the brunt of the humanitarian impact, he warned.
"China once again calls on all parties to stay rational and exercise restraint, transcend prejudice and divisions, and make unremitting efforts for the early resolution of the crisis in Ukraine and for children to enjoy a peaceful future," said Dai.
The conflict in Ukraine is inflicting on children pains foreign to their age. Protecting children from harm is an obligation under international law that must be fulfilled by parties to the conflict. China reiterates its call for securing children and the civilian infrastructure on which they depend, and to give priority to children in evacuation and humanitarian relief operations, he said.
The conflict has uprooted more than half of the Ukrainian children. Millions of children have taken refuge in neighboring countries. China appreciates the safe shelter, humanitarian assistance, and psychological support provided by Ukraine and neighboring countries, as well as various UN agencies and other humanitarian organizations for those children. China calls on the international community to continue to step up relief efforts to ensure that every child in need can receive effective assistance, he said.
Dai also called for efforts to reduce the risk of human trafficking, sexual exploitation and abuse faced by Ukrainian children seeking refuge, especially those separated or unaccompanied.
China supports the World Health Organization in cooperating with Ukraine and the countries concerned to ensure that children can get routine immunization. China supports the UN Children's Fund in helping the Ukrainian government to provide educational supplies and learning opportunities for internally displaced children, and encourages host countries to integrate refugee children into their own education systems, in order to ensure that children's right to education is not disrupted, he said.