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Statement by Ambassador Li Baodong, Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations, at the Security Council Open Debate on Illicit Cross-border Trafficking and Movement


I wish to thank Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for his briefing.

With increasing globalization, the links and exchanges among countries have grown ever closer as the global movement of materials and people accelerates. At the same time, the problem of illicit cross-border trafficking and movement, exemplified by arms proliferation, drug trafficking and the spread of terrorism, is ever more serious. Lately, arms proliferation in West Africa and the Sahel region and the turbulence in Mali have raised widespread concern.

Granted, arms proliferation in the region has its own history, but recent regional conflicts have aggravated it.

I wish to take this opportunity to emphasize three points related to strengthening international cooperation in fighting illicit cross-border trafficking and movement.

First, border management falls within the sovereignty of Member States. National Governments shoulder the primary responsibility for strengthening their border and customs control and for preventing and fighting all types of illicit cross-border trafficking and movement. We hope that countries, in accordance with relevant United Nations and Security Council resolutions, will fulfill their obligations under relevant international conventions and international law, improve domestic legislation, strengthen interdepartmental coordination and cooperation, increase law enforcement capabilities and take practical steps to strengthen border management.

Secondly, we support international cooperation in fighting illicit cross-border trafficking and movement. Such cooperation should focus on assisting countries in need of capacity-building. In the meantime, countries differ from one another in their border management practices. While providing assistance, the international community should fully respect the national circumstances, desires and choices of countries receiving aid, adhere to the principles and purposes of the United Nations Charter, and respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Member States.

Thirdly, it is essential to bring into full play the advantages of the various United Nations agencies so as to create synergy. In assisting Member States to strengthen their border management capacities, it is advisable to fully take advantage of existing United Nations agencies, including, for instance, by formulating best practices. The various United Nations agencies should, in accordance with their respective terms of reference and specialties, properly allocate tasks and strengthen their coordination. The Security Council has the primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security. It should therefore focus its attention on illicit cross-border trafficking and movement that threaten international peace and security, and avoid duplication of labour and disrupting the functions of other United Nations bodies.

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