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Statement by Mr. Li Yongsheng At the 69th Session of the UN General Assembly On Agenda Item 79 Status of the Protocols Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 1949

2014/10/20

Mr. Chairman,

Geneva Conventions of 1949 and its Additional Protocols are core legal instruments of international humanitarian law. The Chinese government has all along attached great importance to the significant role this convention system plays in protecting victims of wars and armed conflicts and calls upon all parties to strictly comply with the provisions of the Additional Protocols. At the same time, we commend the International Committee of Red Cross for its efforts in the wide dissemination and effective implementation of the Conventions and their Additional Protocols.

Mr. Chairman,

China became party to the Additional Protocols to the four Geneva Conventions in 1983 as one of the first countries to do so. For over 30 years, the Chinese government has adopted many active and constructive measures in studying, disseminating and implementing the Additional Protocols. China’s domestic legislation such as the Criminal Law and National Defense Law contain explicit stipulations on the obligation to comply with the Additional Protocols; relevant military rules and regulations for the army have be established and training and advisory activities carried out; and education and awareness raising programs on international humanitarian law have been launched in universities and the society as a whole. Furthermore, China established a National Committee on International Humanitarian Law in 2007 specifically charged with conducting research on international humanitarian law and coordinating its dissemination and implementation. The Committee has played an important part in ensuring the effective implementation of the conventions on humanitarian law including the Additional Protocols.

Mr. Chairman,

China has supported and actively participated in the process initiated by the ICRC and the Government of Switzerland to strengthen the mechanisms of compliance with international humanitarian law. China believes that strengthening the implementation mechanisms of international humanitarian law should focus on enhancing the effectiveness of existing mechanisms, and proceed from the real needs related to the application and compliance with international humanitarian law. Any new measure should be based on consensus of all countries.

Mr. Chairman,

The Chinese government has been consistent in its implementation of the obligations under the Additional Protocols. We oppose and condemn any action in violation of the Additional Protocols. China stands ready to join all parties in continuing to facilitate the wide dissemination and effective implementation of the Additional Protocols and contributing to the further development of international humanitarian law.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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