|Statement of Ambassador Li Baodong at the Open Debate of the Security Council on "Impact of Illicit Arms Trafficking on Peace and Security of the Central African Region"|
I would like to thank Gabon for taking the initiative to convene this open debate on the impact of illicit arms trafficking on peace and security of the Central African region. I would also like to thank Deputy Secretary-General Ms. Migiro for her remarks, and Mr. Costa, Executive Director of UNODC, and Mr. Goma, Secretary-General of the Economic Community of the Central African States for their briefing.
As pointed out by the concept paper prepared by the mission of Gabon for this debate, proliferation of and illicit trafficking in small arms and light weapons constitute a destabilizing factor affecting the security and humanitarian situation as well as economic and social development in the Central African region. We are pleased to see that, keenly aware of the adverse impact of illicit arms trafficking on regional stability, peace and development, countries of the Central African region are taking active measures in response and have achieved some effects. However, the negative impact of illicit arms trafficking remains prominent in the region. In this connection, I wish to emphasize three points:
Firstly, we support the Central African states in continuing with their active efforts to combat illicit arms trafficking. Each state should, on the basis of the UN Program of Action on Small Arms and in connection with its specific situation, formulate a complete set of rules and regulations on the production, possession, transfer and stockpile of small arms and ensure their effective enforcement. Countries of the region should also strengthen coordination and cooperation to effectively monitor the trade in small arms and lights weapons and combat illicit transactions. The ECCAS should play a bigger role in coordinating regional cooperation in this regard.
Secondly, we call for greater attention on the part of the international community to illicit trafficking in small arms and lights weapons in the Central African region. Supporting Central African countries in effectively combating illicit trafficking in small arms and light weapons will have a beneficial effect on reducing conflicts in that region. Of course, in the long run, the fundamental way to eliminate conflict is to help Central African countries develop economy, eradicate poverty and achieve sustainable development so as to root out the breeding ground for illicit trafficking in small arms and light weapons.
Thirdly, we believe that the Security Council should continue its work in this regard in an active and steady manner. In recent years, the Council has held many open debates and adopted presidential statements on the question of small arms and light weapons. In its consideration of questions of "protection of civilians in armed conflicts", "women, peace and security" and "children and armed conflict", the Council has also stressed the importance of small arms and light weapons. In our view, the Council should coordinate its work in this field with that of other relevant UN bodies. It is also necessary for the Council to continue to enhance cooperation with regional and sub-regional organizations such as the AU and the ECCAS in advancing the peace processes in the Central African region with a view to creating an enabling environment for combating illicit trafficking in small arms and light weapons.
China has always been opposed to illicit production of and trafficking in small arms and light weapons. We sympathize with the people of the Central African region who have suffered deeply as a result of the proliferation of small arms and light weapons. We are willing to work together with the international community towards an early and appropriate solution of this problem. We would like to thank the Gabonese mission for having drafted the concept paper and support the adoption by the Security Council of a presidential statement on the impact of illicit arms trafficking on peace and security in the Central African region.
Thank you, Mr. President.