Statement by H.E. Ambassador HU Xiaodi, Head of the Chinese Delegation, at the Twelfth Session of the Group of Governmental Experts of the States Parties to The Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons
(Geneva, 14 December 2005)
The Chinese delegation welcomes you and the two Coordinators to continue to preside over this session of the Meeting of the Group of Governmental Experts (GGE).
This is the last session of the Meeting of the GGE for this year. The meeting is not long but our mission is not easy. We have to work on substantive issues on the one hand, and to review our previous work and make plans for the future on the other hand.
This year, the GGE has conducted intensive work on the issue of mines other than anti-personnel mines (MOTAPM). So far, we have achieved certain common understandings on a number of issues. Quite mature elements have been worked out on such issues as restrictions on the irresponsible use, protection of civilians, mine risk education, sensitive fuses, transparence and confidence-building measures, cooperation and assistance. We cannot deny the fact that there are still different views on such key issues as detectability, self-destruction, self-neutralization, self-deactivation, perimeter-marked area and transfers, the divergence on some of which are extremely big. However, it is encouraging to see that, instead of evading difficulties, all parties have conducted open, deep and constructive discussions.
This year, Ambassador Reimaa, the coordinator of MOTAPM issue, and his team have made great effort to push forward relevant discussions, which are particularly embodied in the latest version of Coordinator's Paper. To certain extent, the paper reflects the latest progress achieved in relevant discussions. It also shows that all parties should make further efforts to resolve the differences on such key issues as detectability, self-destruction, self-neutralization and self-deactivation.
As I mentioned at the previous session, we share a common objective in principle to seek an appropriate solution to the issue of MOTAPM. A good solution can only be achieved on a solid and broad basis. In other words, a realistic solution that can be universally implemented will not be possible unless we can make breakthroughs and reach consensus on the above-mentioned key issues.
The work of the GGE is now at a crucial stage. No progress will lead to retrogress. Over the past few years, the GGE has spent a lot of time in discussing various proposals. We have neither ignored nor negated these discussions. Actually, we have absorbed many useful ideas in the discussions through comparison and distinction.
Last August, China proposed a package solution on the issue of MOTAPM to provide a new way of thinking and to initiate a new phase of our work. This non-exclusive solution is aimed at seeking common ground while shelving differences. Our purpose is to solve problems instead of complicating them. We have fully considered the concerns of all parties and have no intention to undermine the interests of any other parties or bring troubles or difficulties to them.
We hope that parties concerned will adopt a more pragmatic attitude in considering the issue of MOTAPM, and conduct the work with greater flexibility. A solid basis for the work of next year can be prepared if progress be made on key issues in this session.
The Chinese delegation attaches importance to other issues including preventive technical measures for sub-munitions. We will, as always, cooperate with Ambassador Jayant Prasad, the Coordinator of ERW, and constructively participate in relevant discussions.
We are pleased to see that many countries have ratified the ERW Protocol. China values the important role of the Protocol in addressing the humanitarian problems caused by explosive remnants of war, and is ready to cooperate with all parties to promote its early entry-into-force. The Chinese Government is actively preparing for the ratification of the Protocol. Relevant departments have made great efforts in this regard. We believe that the ratification procedure will be accomplished in the near future.
Regarding the issue of compliance, we, together with a majority of delegations, support the South Africa's proposal to extend the compliance mechanism, namely, the mechanism of consultations, clarification and cooperation, in the Amended Protocol II to the whole Convention. Due to the features of the CCW and the complexity and sensitivity of the issue of compliance, we believe that the South Africa's proposal is realistic and feasible. We hope that consensus will be achieved on the basis of South Africa's proposal at an early date.Thank you, Mr. Chairman.