|Statement by H.E. Zhai Jun, Vice Foreign Minister of the People's Republic of China, at the High-Level Meeting of the United Nations on "Revitalizing the Work of the Conference on Disarmament and Taking Forward Multilateral Disarmament Negotiations"|
New York, 24 September 2010
Let me begin by welcoming the convening by Your Excellency, Mr. Secretary-General of this high-level meeting, in accordance with the action plan of the 2010 NPT Review Conference. This not only demonstrates the commitment of the United Nations and you, Mr. Secretary-General, to multilateral disarmament, but also reflects the common aspiration of the international community to advance the work of the Conference on Disarmament (CD) and the multilateral disarmament process.
Some positive progress has been made in international arms control and disarmament since the beginning of last year. The idea of the eventual realization of a world without nuclear weapons has struck deep roots in people’s hearts and minds. The Chinese side sincerely hopes that this meeting will further consolidate international consensus and give a strong boost to the early start of the substantive work of the CD in various aspects.
The Chinese side is of the view that the following three important principles should be observed if we are to revitalize the work of the CD and facilitate the multilateral disarmament process:
First, the status of the CD must be preserved and strengthened. As the single multilateral disarmament negotiating forum, the authoritativeness of the CD can be replaced by no other international mechanisms. Through years of hard work and serious negotiations, members of the CD have concluded multiple milestone legal instruments on multilateral arms control, including the CWC and CTBT. Practice has shown that the working mechanism of the CD is effective and the achievements of the negotiations have withstood the test of history.
Second, the Rules of Procedure of the CD must be respected and upheld. The CD’s Rules of Procedure with the “consensus” principle at its core have ensured equal participation of all “stakeholders” and full consideration of security concerns of each and every member state. This helps to guarantee in a fundamental way the authoritativeness, effectiveness and universality of relevant negotiation outcome.
Third, the legitimate security concerns of individual states must be taken seriously and addressed equally. Disarmament has all along been closely tied with security. A sound international and regional environment is conducive to making progress in disarmament. Endeavors for disarmament and arms control will in turn enhance the common security of all countries. We hope that members of the CD will demonstrate sufficient political will, accommodate each other’s concerns and work together for an early restart of the substantive work of the CD.
The Chinese side has been active and supportive of the work of the CD. We firmly believe that the CD is the only best venue for the negotiations on the “Fissile Materials Cut-off Treaty” (FMCT). The early start of the FMCT negotiations, on the basis of a comprehensive and balanced Program of Work of the CD, serves the common interest of all parties. It is also very important that the CD carry out substantive work on such core issues as the prevention of an arms race in outer space, security assurances for non-nuclear-weapon states and nuclear disarmament. All these, as important steps in the implementation of the final document of the NPT Review Conference, will facilitate international nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation process.
I am deeply convinced that as long as we respect one another and stick to the principle of “undiminished security for all”, new progress will be made in the work of the CD and the international arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation process, and the security of all member states will be enhanced. China is willing to work unswervingly with all other parties to achieve this goal.