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Statement by Counsellor WANG Chang of the Chinese Delegation at the Thematic Discussion on Conventional Weapons at the First Committee of the 72nd Session of the UNGA

2017/10/20

Mr. Chairman,

The issue of conventional weapons involves a wide range of aspects, not only related to the the situation of countries and regions concerned, but also to the legitimate security interests of all countries. Therefore, this issue shall be addressed from the perspectives of both symptoms and root causes, and tackled in a comprehensive and balanced manner, with broad participation of the international community.

The Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) has played an indispensable part in addressing the humanitarian concerns caused by the abuse of conventional arms. As a High Contracting Party to the Convention and all its five Protocols, China supports the work of CCW consistently, and has faithfully implemented its obligations under the Convention and its protocols, and actively participated in the international communication and cooperation. Last year, China participated in the 5th CCW Review Conference in a constructive manner and made in-depth discussion with other countries on a series of issues within the CCW. China is ready to contribute positively to the proper solution of humanitarian issues caused by conventional weapons with all the parties concerned.

Mr. Chairman,

In recent years, the humanitarian concerns caused by Lethal Autonomous Weapon System (LAWS) have caused the attention of the international community. China is of the view that countries should abide by the UN Charter and armed conflict law while using LAWS, respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of other countries, and attach importance to the humanitarian consequences and other issues possibly caused by these weapons. China supports and will participate actively in the discussions on LAWS within the framework of CCW.

China pays great attention to the humanitarian concerns caused by the abuse of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) by non-state actors, and supports the consideration and formulation of reasonable and feasible solutions to this issue within the framework of CCW. From this year, China and Belgium, as co-chairs, have convened meetings on the Working Group of the Improvised Explosive Device Disposal Standards, with the assistance of UNMAS, and worked out IEDD Standards aiming to eliminate the obstacles to the peacekeeping operations and reduce the humanitarian casualties, especially to provide expertise to the victim countries to improve disposal capabilities. China is ready to work with the rest of the international community to properly solve the problem of IEDs in a constructive manner and through experience exchange and technology cooperation.

Mr. Chairman,

At present, the illicit transfers of Small Arms and Light Weapons have not been effectively addressed, which to a great extent contributes to the spread of terrorism and extremism and exacerbates volatile situation in regions concerned. To properly handle this issue, China is of the view that all countries should implement POA and ITI in good faith, enhance capacity building, and take forward the multilateral process of combating illicit trade of SALWs consistently. Efforts shall also be made in carrying out international cooperation actively to maintain international and regional stability. The Chinese government has always held a prudent and responsible attitude towards arms export including the export of SALWs, and conducted strict regulations on arms export according to its domestic laws and due international commitments.

China is in favor of taking necessary measures by the international community to regulate international arms trade and combat illicit transfers of conventional arms. China positively and constructively participated in the negotiation of the Arms Trade Treaty, and participated in the Conferences of State Parties as observer for three consecutive years. China will continue to contribute to establishing a just order for international arms trade and eradicating illicit arms transfers so as to maintain regional and international peace and stability.

China attaches importance to transparency in armaments and is committed to enhancing mutual trust with other countries. China places great emphasis on the work of UN Register of Conventional Arms, and submits annual report to the UN Register of Conventional Arms in recent years. Last year, China actively participated in the work of GGE on the UN Register, and made several useful suggestions. China is ready to continue supporting the work of UN Register, and make its efforts in enhancing the Register's universality and effectiveness. China speaks positively of the work of UN Report on Military Expenditures, and recognizes its positive role in enhancing mutual trust among countries as an important confidence building mechanism of the UN by actively participating in its expert meeting. China stands ready to enhance mutual trust among countries, and promoting international peace, security and stability.

Mr. Chairman,

China is actively committed to international humanitarian demining assistance, by having provided humanitarian assistance worth 90 million RMB yuan to more than 40 countries through donation, equipment assistance, training programs and field instructions, and trained 500 professional deminig technicians. During the UN Peacekeeping Summit in September 2015, President Xi Jinping declared that China would carry out 10 demining assistance programs in the coming five years. China is now actively honoring its commitments by implementing relevant projects. The demining training course for Cambodia and Laos hosted by China is underway in Nanjing. China will also provide humanitarian materials to Cambodia and Laos this year.

China would like to join hands with other countries to enhance cooperation and coordination, to promote new developments and breakthroughs in the work of conventional arms control, and make positive contributions to humanitarian issues caused by the abuse of conventional weapons.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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