Please allow me, at the outset, to congratulate you, on behalf of the Chinese Delegation, on your assumption of the Presidency of the 2003 Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. I am confident that, with your wisdom and experience, the conference will be steered to a success. I would also like to take this opportunity to pay our tribute to Executive Secretary Dr. Wolfgang Hoffmann of the Provisional Technical Secretariat of the PrepCom for CTBTO and all other people who have been working so hard for the entry into force of the Treaty.
We are happy to see that, since the 2001 Conference, 7 more countries have signed the CTBT, and 18 more, ratified it. This shows that the Treaty has, increasingly, gained more extensive recognition and support by the international community, and, subsequently, we have been brought closer to the EIF objective.
The conclusion of the CTBT, we believe, represents a major step of milestone significance towards comprehensive and complete nuclear disarmament and a world free of nuclear weapons, reflecting the common aspiration of an overwhelming majority of nations. Although the Treaty has hitherto not yet entered into force, its purposes and objectives have nevertheless increasingly become basic international norms and played an indispensable role in preventing horizontal as well as vertical nuclear-weapons proliferation.
At present, multilateralism is confronted with challenge and international non-proliferation is in an increasingly grave situation. It is thus of urgent and practical significance to further expand the international consensus on banning nuclear test explosions, picking up the pace of the ratification process in promotion of the early entry into force of the Treaty. China believes that the international community should intensify its effort in the following areas:
First, it is imperative for the international community to create a sound and enabling international security environment. It is an unavoidable fact as demonstrated in the chronicles of nuclear weapons development that the absence of a sense of security represents an important motivation behind the quest for nuclear weapons. Therefore, to foster a new security concept centering on mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and cooperation in a joint endeavour to establishing an international security order based on peace and security for all and resolving international disputes by peaceful and diplomatic means will help countries give up their nuclear option, thus achieving a comprehensive ban of nuclear test explosions.
Second, it is imperative for international community to firmly uphold the purposes and principles of CTBT. The nuclear-weapon states should continue to observe moratorium on nuclear test explosions, refrain from conducting research on new weapon designs, further reduce reliance on nuclear arsenals as well as their role in national security strategy, and unconditionally undertake not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states. This, we believe, will be conducive to advancing nuclear disarmament process and achieving the objective of a nuclear-weapon-free world. In the meantime, it is also noteworthy that as non-proliferation has become the common will of the international community, if non-nuclear-weapon states are to challenge international norms by seeking to acquire nuclear weapons, they will only land themselves in an isolated and dangerous position instead of enhanced security. Moreover, such a practice will also result in international or regional tension to the detriment of international peace and security. China opposes any country to conduct any nuclear test explosions or engage any nuclear proliferations activities whatsoever under whatever pretexts.
Third, it is imperative for member states to actively support and fully participate in the work of the PrepCom for CTBTO. A sound and full-fledged monitoring and verification regime is the physical guarantee for the entry into force of the Treaty. The PrepCom shoulders the important task of establishing this regime. To make necessary material and technical preparations for an early EIF and maintain the momentum of support, each and every member state should pay its assessed contribution to the PrepCom in full and in time, actively support and fully participate in its preparatory work so as to ensure that such preparatory work is advanced in balanced way.
China has all along stood for the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons and worked hard to prevent proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The CTBT helps prevent proliferation of nuclear weapons in promotion of nuclear disarmament process. The Chinese Government, based on this understanding, supports and attaches importance to the Treaty and has been working unswervingly for its early entry into force.
China has actively participated in and contributed to every aspect of the PrepCom's work in a constructive manner and it has been earnest in its preparation for the Treaty's national implementation. To this end, the Chinese Government has set up a National Preparatory Authority for the Implementation of the CTBT, which is in charge of all preparations for Treaty implementation in China, including the establishment, operation and management of 12 IMS facilities on China's territory, that is, 1 radionuclide laboratory, 6 seismic, 3 radionuclide and 2 infrasound stations. All China's preparatory work in the build-up of the relevant verification system is now well placed owing to close collaboration between the Chinese Government and the PTS. At present, the primary seismic stations have been duly tested upon completion of installation; the radionuclide stations are already in testing operation; the site survey for the infrasound stations has started and the build-up of our NDC is also underway. China is an active partner in the elaboration of the OSI Operational Manual. In addition, for three consecutive years, China, in collaboration with the PTS, hosted the Regional Workshop for CTBTO International Cooperation and National Implementation/Ratification Procedures, the 7th OSI Workshop and the IMS Technical Training Program.
China firmly supports the CTBT. As a nuclear-weapon state and one of the 44 states whose ratification is required for the Treaty to enter into force, China fully realize its special responsibility for the EIF of the Treaty. As early as on 29 July 1996, China declared moratorium on nuclear weapon test explosions. China will honour this solemn commitment it has entered into by continuing to observe the moratorium. In 1999, the Chinese Government, upon completion of its due review, presented the CTBT to the National People's Congress, China's top legislature. And now, the NPC is performing its due ratification formalities in accordance with the relevant constitutional procedure. The Chinese Government, for its part, will continue to do its utmost to have the ratification procedure completed by the NPC at an early date.
Thank you, Mr. President.