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

2017/06/28

China appreciates Bolivia’s holding of today’s meeting. I would like to thank Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Izumi Nakamitsu and Mr. Joseph Ballard of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons for their briefings.

China appreciates the role played by Bolivia as Chair of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004). The non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) and their means of delivery bears on international peace, security and stability. It is a common challenge and a major task facing the international community and an important component part of global governance. In recent years, thanks to the joint efforts of the international community, the international consensus on non-proliferation has grown in depth and the relevant mechanisms have kept improving. Countries have scaled up capacity-building in non-proliferation and deepened cooperation in this area.

Reviewing past experience in international non-proliferation process, we can draw the following four lessons.

First, seeking common security is a fundamental way to advance international non-proliferation process. Creating a peaceful and stable international environment, building security architecture that features fairness, justice, joint contributions and shared benefits, and seeking common security for all countries represent the ultimate guarantee for the elimination of terrorism and the driving forces of proliferation.

Secondly, justice and balance constitute the basic principles in advancing international non-proliferation process. Unilateralism, double standards and discriminatory practices are detrimental to the authority and effectiveness of the international non-proliferation regime. While fulfilling their non-proliferation obligations, countries are entitled to peaceful use of the fruits of scientific and technological development.

Thirdly, utilizing the role of the international non-proliferation regime is an important guarantee for the advancement of international non-proliferation process. The threat of WMD proliferation knows no borders. On the basis of the universal participation of and democratic consultation among countries, having the United Nations and the relevant international organizations coordinate in non-proliferation efforts can help strengthen and optimize the international non-proliferation regime.

Fourthly, dialogue and cooperation are the most effective way to advance international non-proliferation process. Confrontation, constant sanctions and pressure can only lead to the escalation and overspill of conflicts, thereby further exacerbating the risk of proliferation. Dialogue, consultation and seeking peaceful settlements of regional hotspot issues of proliferation through political and diplomatic means can produce more durable and effective results. Over the past several years, the international non-proliferation situation remains grave. Certain non-proliferation hotspot issues continue dragging on and defying a solution. Technological progress has lowered the threshold of proliferation, and the risk of non-State actors, especially terrorists, acquiring WMDs and related materials has increased.

The international community needs to work together and do a better job in the following areas of global non-proliferation governance.

First, we need to build political consensus and address both the symptoms and root causes of the problem. We need to abandon the Cold War mentality; establish a new concept of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security; improve the security environment of all countries; and eradicate the breeding grounds of terrorism and proliferation activities as soon as possible. At the same time, there is a need to comprehensively implement non-proliferation obligations and political commitment in that regard, and commit ourselves to combating the existing threats of proliferation.

Secondly, we need to strengthen national responsibility and build a line of defense against proliferation. National Governments bear the primary responsibility for non-proliferation. We need to respect and provide support to countries — based on their specific circumstances — in their efforts to formulate non-proliferation policies, improve legal and regulatory systems on non-proliferation and enhance capacity-building in non-proliferation law enforcement with a view to building a strong line of defense.

Thirdly we need to deepen international cooperation and enhance non-proliferation capacity. All countries must actively participate in global non-proliferation governance, while ensuring the respect for the sovereignty, all countries should engage in exchanges and mutual learning, as well as pragmatic cooperation in an open, inclusive, mutually beneficial and win-win spirit so as to improve connectivity capacity and the level of non-proliferation. The needs of developing countries for international assistance in non-proliferation should be substantively met.

Fourthly, we need to take a multi-pronged approach to implement resolution 1540 (2004) comprehensively and effectively. Resolution 1540 (2004) was the first of its kind adopted by the Security Council specifically concerning non-proliferation, and it represents the common understanding of all countries in connection with non-proliferation. The Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004) needs to strictly abide by the mandate conferred upon it by the resolution, continue to take forward the spirit of cooperation, focus on strengthening its assistance function so as to enhance the awareness and capacity of Member States in implementing the resolution and promote international cooperation in the area of non-proliferation.

China resolutely opposes the proliferation of WMDs and their means of delivery, and has always strictly fulfilled its international non-proliferation obligations. We have taken an active part in regional and international non-proliferation cooperation, worked hard to promote the political settlement of hotspot issues in the area of non-proliferation and supported the United Nations to play a key role in that regard.

In September 2015 in Qingdao, China, in cooperation with the 1540 Committee, hosted the first training course for the points of contact in the Asia-Pacific region, which yielded positive results. In August, China, also in cooperation with the 1540 Committee, will co-host another training course in China. We believe that the training course will play a constructive role in helping the concerned parties build capacity in the area of non-proliferation. China will continue to work with all parties to contribute to the improvement of the international non-proliferation regime, the strengthening of global non-proliferation governance and the maintenance of international peace and security.

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