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PRACTICAL CONFIDENCE-BUILDING MEASURES IN THE FIELD OF CONVENTIONAL ARMS

2003/10/15


Working Paper Submitted by China

2000 Substantive Session of

the United Nations

Disarmament Commission

Practical confidence-building measures (CBMs) in the field of conventional arms are conducive to maintaining international and regional peace and stability, reducing tensions and promoting the healthy development of the arms control and disarmament process. China fully supports the United Nations Disarmament Commission (UNDC) in its deliberations on principles and measures for confidence-building in the field of conventional arms.

1.The improvement of the overall international security situation is the most important condition for the establishment of CBMs. To create favorable conditions for CBMs in the field of conventional arms, all countries should, inter alia,

--Establish a new security concept based on mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and cooperation, and abandon the old security concept based on military alliance and build-up of armaments;

--Strive to establish a new just and fair international political and economic order;

--Develop state-to-state relations on the basis of the UN Charter and the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-Existence, respect each other's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and abandon hegemonism and power politics.

--Settle international disputes through dialogue and consultation and never use or threaten to use force against other countries under whatever pretext.

2. The establishment of CBMs in the field of conventional arms should follow several basic principles:

--No country's security should be compromised. The legitimate security interests of countries concerned should be fully accommodated.

--The internal affairs of other countries should not be interfered with. No countries are allowed to interfere with the internal affairs of other countries by means of transparency in armaments or arms transfers.

--CBMs should be explored in light of specific conditions and timing and in the spirit of seeking common ground while putting aside differences. CBMs should not be discussed in abstract terms. The specific conditions and characteristics of a specific country or region should be fully considered in establishing practical CBMs;

--CBMs should be examined and established in a phased approach, starting from easy ones.

3. CBMs in the field of conventional arms may be implemented at national, regional and UN levels:

National measures:

--to pursue a national defense policy that is defensive in nature;

--to enhance dialogue, consultation and cooperation on security issues;

--to enhance military-to-military exchanges and cooperation;

--to adopt practical CBMs in sensitive or disputed border areas;

--to adhere to relevant UN resolutions and guidelines in the field of conventional arms.

Regional measures:

--to explore and formulate CBMs at regional or sub-regional levels in light of specific conditions and on a voluntary basis;

--to enhance information exchange on CBMs between different regions.

Role of the United Nations:

-- The UN and its relevant subsidiary bodies should promote the formulation of guiding principles for and specific measures in confidence building;

--The UN should strengthen its coordination and publicity of CBMs in the field of conventional arms.

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