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Statement by Ambassador LIU Jieyi at the Security Council Debate on Non-Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction

2016/08/23

China appreciates Malaysia’s initiative in convening today’s open debate. We welcome the presence here today of Mr. Hamidi, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs of Malaysia, to preside over this meeting, and we would like to thank Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for his briefing.

Preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) and their means of delivery is of critical importance to international peace and security. Thanks to the persistent efforts of the international community, there is a growing international consensus on non-proliferation, with non-proliferation mechanisms improving by the day and cooperation in that respect steadily moving forward. However, grave challenges remain on the non-proliferation front. Certain hotspot issues related to non-proliferation drag on and defy an easy solution. The universality of international norms on non-proliferation is yet to be achieved. Advances in science and technology have lowered the bar for proliferation. There is an increased risk of non-State actors, terrorists in particular, acquiring WMDs and related materials. The unstable security environment makes some countries feel more threatened, which in turn increases the risk of proliferation. How to properly respond to the non-proliferation challenges and the non-proliferation process is an important task facing the international community. To that end, China wishes to put forth the following points.

First, to establish an enabling international and regional environment. The issue of non-proliferation is highly complex. Historical grievances, regional conflicts, security concerns and terrorism, among other factors, have made it more difficult to find a solution. The fundamental way out is to discard the Cold War mentality and to build a fair and just security landscape, based on joint contributions and shared benefits; to adopt a new concept of common, integrated, cooperative and sustainable security; and to strengthen international and regional cooperation, thereby eliminating the factors that drive proliferation.

Secondly, to develop and strengthen the international non-proliferation regime. Thanks to tireless efforts over the years, the international community has set up an international non-proliferation regime that is guided by the Charter of the United Nations and legally anchored in the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, the Chemical Weapons Convention, the Biological Weapons Convention and the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty, and complemented by other relevant non-proliferation mechanisms. That regime constitutes an important pillar for the maintenance of international peace, security and stability. We should adhere to multilateralism and the principle of consensus through consultation in working together to properly maintain and develop the existing international non-proliferation regime.

Thirdly, to properly address regional non-proliferation hotspot issues. All parties should stay consistently engaged in the process towards the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, remain committed to the maintenance of peace and stability of the peninsula, continue to seek solutions through dialogue and consultation, and to avoid taking any actions that could provoke each other and escalate tensions. Non-proliferation cannot be used as a pretext to beef up military deployment, step up a military presence and scale up military exercises. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on the Iranian nuclear issue was achieved through hard work. The relevant parties should intensify mutual political trust and faithfully fulfill the relevant obligations to ensure the steadfast implementation of the JCPOA for far-reaching results.

Fourthly, the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons is the cornerstone of the international non-proliferation regime. Its universality, authority and effectiveness should be enhanced on a continuous basis. The goals related to the Treaty’s three main pillars, namely, nuclear disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, should be promoted in a comprehensive and balanced manner. The nuclear-weapon States should fulfill their nuclear disarmament obligations in earnest and reduce the role of nuclear weapons. While honoring their obligations in non-proliferation, all countries are entitled to enjoy the fruits of peaceful use of the related technologies. We need to establish and refine the relevant international norms on non-proliferation in the light of the evolving dynamics of counter-terrorism and take substantive measures to prevent WMDs and related materials and technologies from falling into the hands of terrorists.

Fifthly, to give fresh impetus to the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004). Resolution 1540, which was the first of its kind devoted to non-proliferation adopted by the Security Council, reflects the consensus among States on the issue of non-proliferation. In the context of the new challenges facing the non-proliferation effort, the international community should conduct the comprehensive review of its implementation in strict adherence to the mandate of the resolution to the letter. The comprehensive review should focus on the issue of preventing proliferation by non-State actors and should be conducive to maintaining State’s leading role in the prevention of proliferation, to making the assistance provided by the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004) more productive and to strengthening capacity-building in developing countries for the implementation of the resolution.

As a participating builder of, and a contributor to, the existing international system, China is firmly opposed to the proliferation of WMDs and their means of delivery, fulfils its international non-proliferation obligations with rigorous discipline and is an active player in both international and regional cooperation. China supports efforts to build nuclear -weapon-free zones. We have ratified the Protocol to the Treaty on a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in Central Asia and have resolved all outstanding issues related to the Protocol to the Treaty on a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in Southeast Asia, which we look forward to signing at an early date. China is supportive of the early convening of an international conference for a WMD-free zone in the Middle East.

China attaches great importance to the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004). We have been actively involved in the comprehensive review process and the work of the 1540 Committee and its Group of Experts. In September 2015, China hosted an event in cooperation within the 1540 Committee, namely, training for the non-proliferation focal points in the Asia-Pacific region, which is an important contribution to enhancing capacity-building in the countries of the region for the implementation of the resolution.

In the current circumstances, countries around the world are evolving into a community with a shared future and converging interests, but facing a common peril and safety issues. An effective response to non-proliferation challenges requires unreserved cooperation across the international community. China will continue to work with the international community and do its part to help improve and develop the international non-proliferation regime for the maintenance of international peace and security.

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