|Statement by H.E. Ambassador LIU Zhenmin, Deputy Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations, at Security Council Open Debate on Small Arms|
|30 April 2008|
Chinese delegation would like to thank you for convening this open debate. My delegation also would like to thank Mrs. Hoppe from the Office for Disarmament Affairs for her introduction on the report by the Secretary-General.
We are glad to note that the small arms issue has received full attention from the Security Council. Several open debates have been held, and a number of presidential statements adopted. At the same time, the Security Council has stressed the importance of the small arms issue as it reviews such issues as protection of civilians, women and children in armed conflicts. This has played an important role in effectively reducing illicit trafficking of small arms, and enhancing regional peace and stability.
China supports the Security Council in continuing to play an important role on the small arms issue according to its mandates. In handling this issue, the Security Council should coordinate with other UN bodies so as to complement and promote each other's work.
The excessive accumulation and illicit trafficking of small arms have exacerbated warfare in certain countries and regions, disrupted peace processes and post-conflict reconstruction, and bolstered terrorism, drug trafficking and other criminal activities, causing negative political, economic and social impacts. The issue of small arms has drawn increasing attention from the international community.
In recent years, the international community has made many efforts and achieved some progress in seeking solutions. Firearms Protocol of the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the UN Program of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects were concluded in 2001, which have provided legal and policy basis for addressing the small arms issue. Since then, the international efforts to combat the illicit trade in small arms have been intensified, as evidenced by the two successful biennial meetings, the timely conclusion of the International Instrument on Marking and Tracing of Illicit Small Arms and Light Weapons and the report drafted by the group of governmental experts on illicit brokering of small arms and light weapons. Though no final document was adopted at the UN Conference to Review Progress Made in the Implementation of the Program of Action held in 2006, the Program of Action remains an important guidance to international endeavor to combat illicit trade in small arms and light weapons. Parties concerned have also made continued efforts to promote comprehensive implementation of the Program of Action.
The Third UN Biennial Meeting on small arms and light weapons will be held in July this year in New York. The Meeting will review the implementation of the Program of Action at the international, regional and national levels and that of the International Instrument on Marking and Tracing of Illicit Small Arms and Light Weapons. This represents an important opportunity for parties concerned to share experience and promote comprehensive implementation of the Program of Action. We look forward to the success of this meeting.
The Chinese Government has all along attached great importance to combating illicit trafficking of small arms. We have taken an active part in the international endeavor in this field. In recent years, China has adopted a series of specific measures in domestic legislation, law enforcement, and capacity and institution building. We have earnestly implemented the Program of Action. At the same time, we have actively participated in international exchanges and cooperation through holding international seminars, providing assistance within our capabilities to countries and regions concerned, and keeping regular operational contacts with departments concerned of other countries and international organizations.
China is of the view that comprehensive and effective implementation of the Program of Action and other relevant international instruments, strengthening of capacity building of each country in related areas and continued promotion of multilateral processes for combating illicit trade in small arms are of great significance to maintaining regional stability, bolstering economic development, and promoting the building of a harmonious world of lasting peace. China will continue to increase dialogue and cooperation with parties concerned and work for an early eradication of the scourge of illicit trade in small arms.
Thank you, Mr. President.