H. E. Ambassador ZHANG Jun Addresses at the General Debate of EC-55 of the OPCW
On 17 February 2009, Executive Council of the OPCW (Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) commences its 55th session in the Hague of the Netherlands. 41 members of the Executive Council participate the meeting. H. E. Ambassador ZHANG Jun, Chinese Ambassador to the Netherlands and Permanent Representative to the OPCW, addresses at the General Debate this morning.
Ambassador ZHANG briefly reviews and gives a positive evaluation on the work of this organization in the past year 2008. Meanwhile, he calls upon states parties to recognize clearly the challenges this organization facing ahead, and redouble their efforts to bring the work of the organization forward in 2009. Ambassador ZHANG elaborates views and positions of the Chinese Government on issues of Chemical Weapons Destruction, Industrial Verification Regime, and International Cooperation, etc. In particular, he highlights the issue of Chemical Weapons Abandoned by Japan in China (JACWs), underlines that elimination of the real hazards posed by JACWs is as important as Chemical Weapons Stockpiles' destruction. From a short-term point of view, the destruction of JACWs is even more important and urgent since they constantly constitute a real threat to the people. He urges the Japanese side to show its full responsibility to the Chemical Weapons Convention and also to 1.3 billion people, and step up its inputs and effort to launch the destruction at the earliest possible date and complete it by the deadline set out by the Convention.
The full text of H.E. Ambassador Zhang's statement is as follows:
Distinguished Mme. Chairperson,
First of all, please allow me, on behalf of the Chinese delegation, to welcome you back to the chair of the Executive Council (EC). I am confident that under your guidance, this EC session will come to a successful conclusion. My delegation will offer its full cooperation to you and to other delegations, so as to help the session complete all its proceedings successfully.
I would like to thank the Direct-General, H. E. Mr. Pfirter, for the comprehensive report on the work of the OPCW he just presented. I appreciate his tireless, protracted efforts for achieving the object and purpose of the Convention. And I reaffirm my support for his work and that of the Secretariat.
I fully concur with the statement made by the respected Cuban Ambassador, Mr. Oscar de los Reyes Ramos, on behalf of the NAM States Parties and
The year of 2009 is for the OPCW a connecting point. Looking back at 2008, we see that the Second Review Conference and the 13th CSP Session further specified the goals and directions of the next phase of our work. On the other hand, we are undoubtedly still facing arduous tasks in such areas as CW destruction, ACW destruction, the improvement of industry inspection mechanism, and the fostering of international cooperation. All this requires us, right at the first EC session of 2009, to take a responsible, constructive and cooperative approach and redouble our efforts to bring our work in all aspects to move solidly forward. And I wish to reiterate here my support for the principle of consensus. Now, please allow me to elaborate on my delegation's views on some agenda items.
Firstly, the complete CW destruction at the earliest-possible date remains the most urgent task for the OPCW. We are merely three years away from the final destruction deadline of 2012. But there are yet nearly 58% of the total CW stockpiles remaining for destruction. The current destruction pace causes my delegation's deep concern. My delegation calls upon the possessor states to heighten their sense of urgency, overcome their difficulties and speed up the process, so as to ensure its completion by the deadline specified by the Convention. I hope that the Secretariat will fully guarantee its inputs for destruction verification, to ensure the achievement of this key object of the Convention.
Secondly, the destruction of the chemical weapons abandoned by
Thirdly, the improvement of the mechanism of industry inspection should be pursued in a steady, gradual and orderly way. Measures in this regard should take full account of such factors as a balanced geographical distribution and the States Parties' ability to receive the inspections, and should be subjected to full and thorough consultations among States Parties. The Secretariat should reasonably and effectively allocate verification resources among different types of facilities strictly according to their levels of risks. My delegation has taken note of the report on the performance of the modified methodology for the selection of OCPFs for inspection, which the DG submitted to the Council. The performance has shown that there is still room for making the methodology more reasonable and effective. My delegation is of the view that this methodology is but a transitional measure, and that we should restart consultations as soon as possible on the selection methodology for OCPF inspection, in order to reach a proper solution which meets the requirements of the Convention.
Fourthly, the fostering of international exchange and cooperation in the field of chemistry should be given full attention. The overwhelming majority of States Parties are non-possessor states, but have always implemented the Convention earnestly and backed the activities of the OPCW actively. They do deserve all the rights bestowed by the Convention. Chemical industry constitutes a key economic pillar for many developing countries. The fostering of international cooperation in this field is conducive not only to the achievement of the object and purpose of the Convention, but also to States Parties' economic growth. And it will eventually benefit global peace, security and development. My delegation calls on all parties to adopt a long-term and strategic perspective in this regard, increase their attention to and inputs in this field and take practical actions to advance the full and effective implementation of Article XI.
Thank you, Mme. Chairperson.