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Statement by Ambassador FU Cong, Director-General of the Department of Arms Control of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China, at the General Debate of the First Committee of the 73rd Session of the UNGA

2018/10/11

Mr. Chairman,

At the outset, on behalf of the Chinese delegation, I would like to congratulate Your Excellency on your election to the chairmanship of the First Committee of the General Assembly. I am confident that your rich diplomatic experience and wisdom will guide this session to success, and my delegation wishes to assure you and other delegations of its full cooperation.

Mr. Chairman,

There are always certain historic occasions that give us wisdom and strength to move forward. This year marks the centenary of the end of the First World War. The two world wars and the over four-decade-long Cold War have left the humanity with profound and painful lessons. This year also marks the 40th anniversary of the First Special Session of the General Assembly devoted to Disarmament (SSOD-I) and the adoption of its final document. It was a session that brought countries together to seek common ground, pursue dialogue and cooperation and promote the multilateral disarmament process, which remains fresh in our memories.

Today's world is undergoing major development as well as profound transformation and change. As the world moves toward multi-polarity and becomes more globalized and digitized, a new round of technological and industrial revolution is bringing opportunities and challenges unseen before. Nations have never been more interdependent. The world wants peace, not war,and cooperation, not confrontation. This has become the common aspiration of the international community.

In this new era, humanity again has a major choice to make. The Cold-War mentality and power politics have become even more outdated, and unilateralism and protectionism will get nowhere. The international community need to work together to uphold the rules-based international order. As the world's security situation becomes more complicated and harder to predict with uncertainties and destablizing factors on the rise, arms control, disarmament and nonproliferation are still confronted with daunting challenges.

Mr. Chairman,

Facing these new developments,challenges and tasks, Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for renewed commitment to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and joint efforts to build a community with shared future for mankind and a world of lasting peace and universal security. It is a vision that can only be realized through cooperation. The international community must come together to make it a reality.

First, we must uphold the international order. Multilateralism remains an effective approach to dealing with common challenges and resolving international disputes. In the current context, the world needs multilateralism more than ever before. We must firmly uphold the international order based on the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, pursue common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, bridge differences and resolve disputes through consultation and dialogue, and accommodate the legitimate security concerns of every country, so as to achieve common and universal security.

Nuclear nonproliferation is a common goal of the international community. This year, the situation on the Korean Peninsula has undergone major changes. Positive progress has been made on the nuclear issue on the Korean peninsula. Parties are returning to the right track towards a settlement through dialogue and consultation. History has proven that dialogue and negotiation is the fundamental way to advance denuclearization on the Peninsula and maintain peace and stability in the region. China believes that with the concerted efforts of all parties concerned, the Peninsula will find peace and be free of nuclear weapons and military threats .

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is a major achievement of the international community. It is a multilateral agreement ratified by the UN Security Council. To implement the JCPOA in good faith is important for upholding international nuclear nonproliferation regime and multilateralism. All parties must firmly uphold the JCPOA. We must not stand still or even reverse course. Otherwise this great achievement of multilateral diplomacy would be left in tatters.

On the Syrian issue, several years on, political settlement remains the only right and viable way to resolve the issue. China is of the view that there must be full, objective and impartial investigations into all the incidents of the alleged use of chemical weapons to make sure that the conclusions they reach can be based on solid evidence and stand the test of time. Recriminations and prejudgment would only make matters even more complicated. The international community should maintain their solidarity, step up dialogue and consultation, avoid confrontation and work together to find solutions.

Second, we must adhere to international rules and norms. We must uphold the authority and sanctity of the existing international rules and norms,and reject double standards, selective application of rules and placing domestic law above international law. Certain countries impose unilateral sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction based on their domestic law. This can only undermine trust between countries and seriously violate the basic principles of international law.

The international community should earnestly implement the existing international rules and norms in nuclear,biological and chemical areas, and safeguard the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), which is the cornerstone of the international non-proliferation regime. The OPCW, as the specialized authority dealing with chemical weapons, must act in strict accordance with the Chemical Weapons Convention. When it comes to compliance issues, the OPCW's mandate should not be arbitrarily distorted or expanded. On implementation issues, equal importance should be attached to the destruction of chemical weapon stockpiles and abandoned chemical weapons. Decisions on all substantive issues in the multilateral disarmament machinery should be made by consensus. This is an effective arrangement to ensure security for all and an internationally accepted principle that must continue to be upheld.

Third, we must advance global governance. The international security issues keep evolving,and the existing global governance system is not compatible on many fronts. We should bear in mind the new security situation, bring creativity into full play and enhance communication and consultation so as to make the global security governance fairer,more equitable and effective.

The importance of multilateral disarmament machinery established by SSOD-I is growing,so is the role it can play. Although the work of the Conference on Disarmament (CD) this year cannot be described as perfect, setting up subsidiary bodies to discuss core issues itself is a big step forward. All countries should continue to inject vigor into the CD instead of setting up new kitchens outside the CD to undermine its role and authority. With the rapid development of artificial intelligence (AI), destructive effects caused by the combination of the WMD and AI are of great concern. Old mentality and methods are no longer fit for dealing with emerging threats and the governance of new frontiers. They call for necessary regulations of the military application of such technologies under new international rules and norms developed through negotiations.

Mr. Chairman,

To maintain peace and security is the core of the UN Charter and the primary mission of this organization. Chinese people have always valued peace, supported international arms control,disarmament and nonproliferation efforts and worked together with people in all countries to seek,maintain and enjoy peace.

China is a champion of multilateralism and stays true to the path of multilateralism. China has long resolutely supported and upheld the JCPOA, honored and fulfilled its commitments and obligations,and joined forces with other countries to safeguard multilateralism. China supports the disarmament agenda put forward by the UN Secretary-General,commends the people-centered vision embodied in the agenda,and stands ready to work with other parties to inject new impetus into multilateral arms control and disarmament process. As the coordinator of the P5 process,China is committed to enhancing strategic mutual trust and cooperation among P5 and maintaining global strategic balance and stability.

China is a defender of international rules and norms and,and firmly upholds the existing disarmament machinery. China has actively participated in discussions in the CD and its subsidiary bodies, called for breaking the deadlock by introducing new topics, and supported the commencement of negotiation on FMCT involving all parties concerned in the CD in accordance with the Shannon Mandate. China has all along taken an active part in the review process of the NPT, ,dedicating to promoted the three pillars of NPT in a balanced manner, and supported the early convening of an international conference on the establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction. opposinged double standards, and pushed forwardromoting the implementation of the outcomes of NPT Review Conferences among P5. Being among the first group of countries to sign the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), China has always honored its commitment of moratorium on nuclear tests. . Since last year, a batch of IMS monitoring stations in China have been certified by the PTS and real-time data transmission has been realized, which again highlights China's firm commitment to the Treaty. China will endeavor to bring about positive outcomes of the 4th Review Conference of CWC and the 3rd Session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2020 NPT Review Conference, so as to safeguard the authority and effectiveness of the international nonproliferation regime.

China is a contributor to the development of the international system and actively promotes global security governance. The first meeting of the Group of Governmental Experts on issues related to outer space proposed by China and Russia was successfully held this year. We hope that parties will also take an active part in the follow-up discussions. This will lay the foundation for an early commencement of negotiations on the treaty. The initiatives of "Model Code of Conduct for Bio-scientists" and "Non-Proliferation Export Control and International Cooperation Regime" put forward by China, which will contribute to strengthening global bio-security governance,should be further discussed in the intersessional work of the BWC. China attaches importance to the impact of developments in science and technology on international security and arms control, and stands ready to cooperate with all parties including the UN on this issue and promote the global governance in new frontiers. China will continue to host training courses on nonproliferation, nuclear safety and security and so on for countries in the Asia-Pacific region, and provide humanitarian de-mining assistance to neighboring countries, contributing to building a fair and equitable international system and easing the humanitarian crisis.

Mr. Chairman,

The world is experiencing significant changes unseen in a century. No matter how the international situation may change, China will always stay committed to peace and development, and join hands with all countries to safeguard multilateralism and enhance international cooperation, for a world of lasting peace and universal security, and for greater progress in the lofty cause of world peace.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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