|Statement by Ambassador Wang Min/Head of Chinese Delegation/at the Review Conference of the Program of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects|
Let me begin by extending my congratulations to you on your election as President of the Conference. With your rich experience and able leadership, you will surely guide the Conference to a success. The Chinese delegation looks forward to full cooperation with you and other delegations.
To address the problems caused by illicit trade in SALW, the 2001 UN Conference on the Illicit Trade in SALW in All Its Aspects adopted a milestone Program of Action, opening up a brand new pocess for multilateral efforts against illicit trade in SALW.
Since then, the international community has made unremitting and fruitful efforts to implement the PoA. However, we should never lose sight of the challenges: to fully implement the PoA remains a long and uphill journey; the danger of illicit trade in and excessive accumulation of SALW is far from being eradicated; various difficulties confront some countries’ effort to implement specific stipulations of the PoA; and there exist serious resource and capacity shortfalls regarding legislation, law enforcement and institutional development.
The comprehensive and effective implementation of the PoA and steady progress in the multilateral process againt illicit trade in SALW are of great significance to maintaining regional stability, promoting economic development and building a harmonious world of lasting peace. China deems it imperative for the international community to uphold the following principles.
First, governments should assume primary responsibilities. Governments should establish and improve on their legal systems regarding manufacturing, possession, transfer and stockpiling of SALW in the light of their national conditions, keep scaling up capacity building and strengthen law enforcement, in a bid to keep legal SALW away from illicit channels. At the same time, state sovereignty should be fully respected, and the right of each State to legally manufacturing and transfering SALW should not be affected.
Second, the UN should continue to play a leading role. The PoA and the ITI, both under the UN framework, have been proven instrumental in combating illicit trade in SALW. The review mechanism of the PoA should be fully utilized to enhance the efforts against illicit trade in SALW at national, regional and international levels. Meanwhile, the United Nations should play a more important role in promoting international cooperation and assistance.
Third, international coordination and cooperatio