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Statement by Ambassador Wang Min/Head of Chinese Delegation/at the Review Conference of the Program of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects


Madam President,

Let me begin by extending my congratulations to you on your election as President of the Conference. With your rich experience and able leadership, you will surely guide the Conference to a success. The Chinese delegation looks forward to full cooperation with you and other delegations.

Madam President,

To address the problems caused by illicit trade in SALW, the 2001 UN Conference on the Illicit Trade in SALW in All Its Aspects adopted a milestone Program of Action, opening up a brand new pocess for multilateral efforts against illicit trade in SALW.

Since then, the international community has made unremitting and fruitful efforts to implement the PoA. However, we should never lose sight of the challenges: to fully implement the PoA remains a long and uphill journey; the danger of illicit trade in and excessive accumulation of SALW is far from being eradicated; various difficulties confront some countries’ effort to implement specific stipulations of the PoA; and there exist serious resource and capacity shortfalls regarding legislation, law enforcement and institutional development.

Madam President,

The comprehensive and effective implementation of the PoA and steady progress in the multilateral process againt illicit trade in SALW are of great significance to maintaining regional stability, promoting economic development and building a harmonious world of lasting peace. China deems it imperative for the international community to uphold the following principles.

First, governments should assume primary responsibilities. Governments should establish and improve on their legal systems regarding manufacturing, possession, transfer and stockpiling of SALW in the light of their national conditions, keep scaling up capacity building and strengthen law enforcement, in a bid to keep legal SALW away from illicit channels. At the same time, state sovereignty should be fully respected, and the right of each State to legally manufacturing and transfering SALW should not be affected.

Second, the UN should continue to play a leading role. The PoA and the ITI, both under the UN framework, have been proven instrumental in combating illicit trade in SALW. The review mechanism of the PoA should be fully utilized to enhance the efforts against illicit trade in SALW at national, regional and international levels. Meanwhile, the United Nations should play a more important role in promoting international cooperation and assistance.

Third, international coordination and cooperation should be enhanced. Different regions should map out their priorities in accordance with their realities, and strengthen intraregional communication, coordination and cooperation, in particular those between law enforcement agencies. Developed countries should provide concrete assistance to developing countries in such areas as institutional development, financial and technical support and personnel training.

Fourth, a comprehensive approach should be adopted to address both the symptoms and underlying causes. Poverty and social unrest provide breeding grounds for illicit SALW to grow and sprawl. The international community should take effective measures and provide active help to countries concerned in promoting economic development, achieving peace and stability, and removing the danger of war or conflict, so as to create conditions for a fundamental solution to the issue of illicit trade in SALW.

Madam President,

The Chinese Government is committed to the fight against illicit trade in SALW. Over the past decade and more, China has earnestly implemented the PoA and made concrete achievements.

In legislation, China has developed and continuously updated its national laws and regulations. We have promulgated the Law on the Control of Firearms, the Regulations on the Administration of Arms Export and the Arms Export Control List. We have also made steady efforts to improve the National Military Standards. Thus the R&D, manufacturing, stockpiling, transportation, possession, use, transfer and destruction of SALW have been put under strict regulation. On export control, China has adopted a wide range of export control measures including export licensing and end-user certification. The Chinese Government has also taken effective measures to ensure full implementation of arms embargoes established by relevant UN Security Council resolutions.

On law enforcement, China has carried out targeted operations over the years. We have strengthened regulation over firearms manufacturers, cracked down upon illicit manufacturing, transportation and trade of firearms, and confiscated illicit firearms. As a result, firearms-related crimes have been decreasing year on year.

On capacity building, the Chinese Government has carried out strict regulation over manufacturing, stockpiling, use, transportation, trade and confiscation of SALW according to law, and standardized the administrative examination and approval procedures. China has promulgated the New Minute Regulations of Small Arms Markings, which meets the requirements of the Firearms Protocol and the ITI. The Information System for Firearms Regulation developed by China's law enforcement authorities has been put into use nationwide. The digitalization program for official-use firearms has been launched and rolled out across the country.

On international exchange and cooperation, China has actively submitted its national reports on the implementation of the PoA, and shared relevant practices and experience with other countries through bilateral consultations and multilateral seminars. Police, customs and other relevant agencies in China have kept regular contacts with their counterparts from other countries, as well as regional or international organizations, and rendered them necessary assistance and cooperation. The Chinese government has also provided active assistance to other countries to strengthen stockpile management and security of SALW.

Madam President,

This Conference presents an important opportunity to further promote the international efforts against illicit trade in SALW. We hope that all delegations will build consensus through pratical and constructive discussions, and identify the priorities for our future work, so as to further promote full implementation of the PoA, eradicate illicit trade in SALW at an early date and ensure the security and well-being of people all over the world.

Thank you, Madam President.

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