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Statement by H.E. Mr. WU Haitao, Ambassador for Disarmament Affairs of China, at the General Debate of the First Committee of the 67th Session of UNGA

2012/10/11
 

Mr. Chairman,

At the outset, please allow me, on behalf of the Chinese delegation, to congratulate you on your election as chairman of this year's First Committee. With your rich diplomatic experience and wisdom, you will surely guide this session to a success. The Chinese delegation assures you and other delegations of its full cooperation.

Mr. Chairman,

The international situation is undergoing major and profound changes. Countries have never been so interconnected and interdependent as they are today. To promote peace, development and cooperation has become the common aspiration of the international community. On the other hand, regional turbulence persists, hotspot issues keep emerging and traditional and non-traditional security issues are entwined. The international security environment is getting more complicated.

The international community should foster a new thinking on security featuring mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and coordination, abandon the outdated Cold War mentality and zero-sum game theory, work together to overcome difficulties in pursuit of a win-win situation, resolve disputes through dialogue and negotiation and build a peaceful and stable international and regional security environment.

Mr. Chairman,

Arms control, disarmament and nonproliferation plays an important role in maintaining international peace and security. Every member state, while adhering to cooperative mind, innovative spirit and responsible attitude, should make further efforts to push forward the arms control and disarmament process.

First, take credible steps to reduce the threat of nuclear weapons, steadily advance nuclear disarmament, and resolve nonproliferation issues through political and diplomatic means.

All nuclear-weapon states should make an unequivocal commitment of no-first-use of nuclear weapons, negotiate and conclude a treaty on no-first-use of nuclear weapons against one another. Nuclear-weapon states should also make an unequivocal commitment of unconditionally not using or threatening to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states or nuclear-weapon-free zones, and conclude a legally-binding international instrument in this regard. Countries with the largest nuclear arsenals should continue to take the lead in making drastic and substantive reductions in their nuclear weapons. When conditions are ripe, other nuclear-weapon states should also join the multilateral negotiations on nuclear disarmament. The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty should be brought into force at an early date, and the Conference on Disarmament should start negotiations on the Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty as soon as possible.

Nuclear disarmament should stick to the principles of maintaining global strategic balance and stability and undiminished security for all. The development of missile defense systems that undermine global strategic balance and stability should be abandoned.

Nuclear nonproliferation consititutes an essential condition for the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons. An international security environment of cooperation and trust should be fostered. The security concerns and legitimate interests of each other should be respected and the double standards should be discarded. All parties should pursue peaceful solutions to regional nuclear issues through political and diplomatic means.

Establishing nuclear-weapon-free zones is an important step for the realization of a world free of nuclear weapons. China welcomes the progress in resolving outstanding issues of the Protocol to the Southeast Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty between the P5 and ASEAN countries, and also welcomes the political statement on Mongolia's nuclear-weapon-free status made by the P5 and Mongolia. We encourage all relevant parties to actively participate in the 2012 International Conference on the establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction, and make efforts to achieve substantive results.

China welcomes the success of the First PrepCom of the 2015 NPT Review Conference. States Parties should take the opportunity of implementing the Final Document of the 2010 Review Conference to advance the purposes and objectives of the Treaty. China strictly fulfills its obligations under the NPT and has actively participated in the P5 efforts to implement the Treaty. The first experts' meeting of the P5 Working Group on Glossary of Definitions for Key Nuclear Terms which China chairs successfully took place in Beijing last month. This will enhance mutual understanding and exchange of views among the P5 in the nuclear field.

Second, implement the existing international legal instruments in good faith and steadily push forward disarmament process in the fields of chemical and biological weapons.

Since its entry into force 15 years ago, the Chemical Weapons Convention has been playing an important role in removing the threat of chemical weapons. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the States Parties should continue to focus their efforts on chemical weapons disarmament as the priority, while advancing in a balanced manner their work in other key areas, including industry verification, international cooperation and protection against chemical weapons.

China is victim of chemical weapons. The chemical weapons abandoned by Japan on the territory of China have posed a grave threat to the lives and property of the Chinese people and the environment. Deeply concerned and dissatisfied with the slow pace of destruction of those abandoned chemical weapons, China urges the Japanese side to faithfully fulfill its responsibility as the Abandoning State Party and complete the destruction work as early as possible.

The Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) has been well implemented. The 7th Review Conference of the BWC has established a new round of intersessional process. The States Parties should continue to improve national implementation measures in line with their domestic situations, further enhance the universality of the CBM mechanism, strengthen the monitoring and assessment of the development of bioscience and technology, earnestly promote international exchanges and cooperation in the peaceful uses of biotechnology.

Thirdly, actively promote preventive diplomacy and prevent information space and outer space from becoming new battlefields.

The wide application of information technology contributes to the development of human civilization. At the same time, the threats to information security have become a challenge to the international community. The current priority is to formulate international rules in the field of information security, so as to prompt all countries to work together to meet the common threats to information security and to ensure that information technologies are only used for the purposes of social and economic development and in line with the objective of maintaining international peace and security.

China, together with Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, submitted a draft International Code of Conduct for Information Security to the 66th session of the UN General Assembly. In order to enhance the understanding of the draft Code of Conduct, we will organize informal consultations in the margins of this session of the First Committee and we welcome the participation of all delegations.

Outer space is the common wealth of the mankind. Arms race in outer space is posing an immediate security challenge to international community. In 2008, China and Russia submitted a draft Treaty on Prevention of the Placement of Weapons in Outer Space and of the Threat or Use of Force against Outer Space Objects (PPWT) to the Conference on Disarmament. China looks forward to the early negotiation and conclusion of an international legal instrument based on the draft PPWT so as to prevent weaponization of and an arms race in outer space.

Transparency and Confidence-Building Measures (TCBMs) and efforts to prevent an arms race in outer space are mutually complementary. China supports and actively participates in the work of the UN Group of Government Experts (GGE) on Outer Space TCBMs. We hope that the GGE will achieve substantive results.

Fourthly, attach great importance to the humanitarian concerns in the field of arms control, and steadily push forward conventional arms control process.

To conclude a feasible and universally acceptable Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) will be conducive to resolving regional conflicts and humanitarian concerns caused by illicit trade in conventional arms. China is ready to continue exchange of views on relevant issues with all parties in the framework of the United Nations. The recently concluded Second Review Conference of the UN Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons successfully adopted an outcome document. This provides an opportunity to push forward international efforts in combating the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons.

In addressing the humanitarian concerns caused by landmines and other conventional weapons, the legitimate military security needs of sovereign countries should also be taken into full account. The Chinese Government has been dedicated to international cooperation in humanitarian demining efforts to help mine-affected countries. China has already provided humanitarian demining and victim assistances to over 40 developing countries which are affected by mines and cluster munitions.

Fifth, firmly safeguard the authority of the multilateral disarmament machinery and make every effort to revitalize the work of the Conference on Disarmament (CD).

The CD had successfully concluded treaties which constitute the pillars of current multilateral arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation regimes. It has the most representative membership, with the Rules of Procedure which can fully protect the interests of the member States, as well as rich experience and necessary expertise in negotiations. The role of the CD as the sole multilateral disarmament negotiating forum is irreplaceable.

The root causes for the deadlock of the CD lie in political factors. Member states should actively pursue consultations on an equal footing in the CD to seek solutions acceptable to all. At the same time, efforts should be made outside the CD to accommodate each others' legitimate security concerns, so as to create favorable atmosphere for the commencement of negotiations.

Abandoning the CD is not the right way to solve the problem. Establishing new mechanisms outside the CD and removing the core agenda items, including the negotiation of FMCT, from the CD will not be able to ensure the participation of all major countries. This will not move us any closer to the treaty's objectives of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation and will not contribute to a healthy and orderly development of the overall international arms control and disarmament process.

China supports the early commencement of negotiation of FMCT as well as the launching of substantive work on other core agenda items such as PAROS, NSA and Nuclear Disarmament in the CD on the basis of a comprehensive and balanced Programme of Work. The international community should further pursue consensus in this regard.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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