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Statement by H.E. Ambassador Wu Haitao at the General Debate of the First Committee of the 69th Session of the United Nations General Assembly

2014/10/09

        Mr. Chairman,

At the outset, please allow me to congratulate you on your election to the chairmanship of this session of the UNGA First Committee. The Chinese Delegation assures you of its full cooperation.

        Mr. Chairman,

        The tragedies of the two World Wars and the shadow of the Cold War in the last century make people all over the world value peace and security more than ever. Nowadays, peace and development has become the mainstream of our times. The trend of globalization has further developed. Countries are getting more and more interdependent. The world has become a community of common destiny. On the other hand, we are still facing serious security challenges. The traditional security threats are far from being removed. Various regional hot-spot issues are erupting at the same time. Non-traditional security threats such as terrorism, extremism, cyber security and Ebola epidemic are getting more prominent, calling for joint international efforts to respond.

Recently, China’s President Xi Jinping pointed out that China must emphasize both development and security. China will not only pay attention to its own security, but also to collective security. China will seek to form a community of common destiny and advocate that all parties involved seek mutual benefits and interests and common security. President Xi also put forward an initiative to seek common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security. These are China’s response to various security challenges under new circumstances, and also the fundamental principle of China's participation in international security affairs.

        Mr. Chairman,

        Arms control and disarmament are closely linked with international security. The world community should make joint efforts to promote international arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation, focusing on the following aspects.

        Firstly, promote nuclear disarmament in a step-by-step manner and eliminate the risks of nuclear proliferation. Countries with the largest nuclear arsenals should continue to make drastic reductions in their nuclear weapons. The development of missile defense systems by certain countries that undermine global strategic balance and stability should be abandoned. Regional nuclear issues should be resolved through dialogue and negotiations. The International Conference on the Establishment of a Middle East Zone Free of Nuclear Weapons and All Other Weapons of Mass Destruction should be convened at an early date. And international cooperation on peaceful use of nuclear energy should be promoted and an international nuclear security system featuring fairness and win-win cooperation be established.

        Secondly, take timely measures to develop international norms and ensure all mankind benefit from the global public domain. A peaceful, secure, open and cooperative cyberspace should be built. The Conference on Disarmament (CD) should negotiate an international legal instrument on outer space at an early date to prevent the weaponization of and an arms race in outer space, so as to ensure its lasting peace and security.

        Thirdly, further promote conventional arms control and improve relevant legal regimes. Necessary measures should be taken to regulate international arms trade and combat illicit arms transfers. Relevant international legal regimes should be enhanced on the basis of balancing the legitimate military security need and humanitarian concerns.

        Fourthly, safeguard existing multilateral disarmament machinery and revitalize the work of the CD and the Disarmament Commission. As the single multilateral disarmament negotiating forum, the role and authority of the CD is irreplaceable. Member states of the CD should build consensus and promote the Conference to start substantive work at an early date on the basis of fully accommodating the concerns of all parties. The Disarmament Commission should be given its play to, so as to propose valuable advice to the work of disarmament.

        Mr. Chairman,

        China is dedicated to maintaining world peace and security, and actively participates in global security governance, promoting international arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation.

    -- China is a major participant in global nuclear governance.

        China has consistently stood for the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons. It adheres to the policy of no-first-use of nuclear weapons and honors the commitment of not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states or nuclear-weapon-free zones. China has strictly implemented its relevant international obligations in the nuclear field. At the Nuclear Security Summit in Hague this March, President Xi Jinping put forward China's approach to nuclear security, making our contribution to advancing the nuclear security summit process.

        China supports efforts to promote the purpose and objectives of the Treaty of Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) in all aspects, and submitted its national report to the Third Session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2015 NPT Review Conference. China hosted a P5 Conference in Beijing in April this year, during which the five nuclear-weapon states reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening the Treaty. Recently, China hosted another meeting of the P5 Working Group on Glossary of the Key Nuclear Terms, during which agreement was reached on the main contents of the glossary and the follow-up arrangement. China participates in the UN GGE on FMCT, and supports the commencement of negotiation on FMCT in the CD in accordance with the Shannon Mandate. Together with other four nuclear-weapon states, China signed the Protocol to the Treaty on a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in Central Asia.

        China has actively participated in the negotiation process of the Iranian nuclear issue and made important contributions to the conclusion of the Joint Plan of Action and the on-going negotiation of the comprehensive agreement. The Six-Party Talks is the only practical and effective way in resolving the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue. Efforts should be made to restart the Six-Party Talks as soon as possible.

      -- China is an important contributor to the destruction of chemical weapons in the world.

        China firmly supports the purpose and objectives of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), faithfully implements its obligations under the Convention, and stands for the thorough destruction of all chemical weapons, including abandoned chemical weapons. In accordance with the UN Charter and relevant Security Council resolution, China’s navy ships participated in the joint action of escorting shipments of Syria’s chemical weapons. China also contributed to the verification of destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons by providing financial, expertise and equipment assistance, making significant contributions to the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons and promotion of political settlement of the Syrian issue.

      -- China is an active advocator for establishing rules and norms for emerging security domain.

        China is dedicated to preserving the security, stability and prosperity of the cyberspace, and has actively participated in the UN and other multilateral processes to promote international regulations governing cyberspace. In June this year, China co-hosted an international workshop on information and cyber security in cooperation with the UN, and proposed that principles of peace, sovereignty, co-governance and universal benefit should be observed in the cyber space. China actively participates in the work of the current UN Group of Governmental Experts on Information Security and the UN Internet Governance Forum. China also donated 200,000 US dollars to the UN GGE on Cyber Crime.

        China stands for the peaceful uses of outer space, and is against the weaponization of or an arms race in outer space. In June, China and Russia jointly submitted to the CD an updated draft of “Treaty on the Prevention of the Placement of Weapons in Outer Space, and of the Threat or Use of Force against Outer Space Objects” (PPWT). We welcome the participation of all parties in the discussion and look forward to an early start of negotiation in the CD on the basis of this updated draft. China also participated in the multilateral consultations on a draft International Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities (ICOC) in a constructive manner.

      -- China is an active supporter for conventional and biological arms control process.

        China earnestly implements its obligations under the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons and its protocols, and is dedicated to international humanitarian demining assistance. China hosted demining training courses for Afghanistan and Cambodia this year, and is working on the delivery of mine-affected victim assistance to Laos. China actively participated in the negotiation of the Arms Trade Treaty, and is carrying out review on issues related to signing of the Treaty. China stands ready to work closely with all parties to establish orderly and reasonable arrangement regulating international arms trade.

        China values the important role of the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) in eliminating the risks of biological weapons and their proliferation, as well as promoting peaceful uses of bio-technology. China supports efforts to constantly enhance the treaty’s effectiveness, authority and universality.

        Mr. Chairman,

        China will continue to actively and fully participate in international arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation process, and make our due contribution to safeguarding world peace and security.

       Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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