Statement by Ambassador Hu Xiaodi,Head of the Chinese Delegation At the Eighth Session of the Group of Governmental Experts of the States Parties to The Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons
The Chinese delegation welcomes Mr. Chairman and the Coordinators to continue to preside over this Meeting of the Group of Governmental Experts (GGE). We would like to assure you our full support and cooperation.
China is in favor of seeking to address the issue of Mines Other than Anti-Personnel Mines (MOTAPM, also known as Anti-Vehicle Landmines, AVL) through multiple channels, on the basis of dealing with the humanitarian concerns and all countries' current AVL situations in a balanced way, fully taking into account of all countries' different capability in terms of economy and technology. The solutions should be pragmatic, feasible, effective and acceptable to all parties concerned, so as to ensure their universality. Otherwise, their effect and significance will be quite limited. Therefore, the GGE should focus its work on issues which have been discussed quite maturely and can be easily agreed upon, other than those controversial issues.
So far, issues that have been raised can be divided into the following three main categories: the first is human-centered issues, such as sensitive fuses; the second is issues related to combating terrorism, such as transfer of AVL and AVL used by non-state actors; the third is specific technological issues, such as detectability, self-destruction and self-deactivation.
The first two categories are closely related to humanitarianism, and merit quick solutions. It is also easier for countries to reach consensus on these issues. The GGE should deal with these issues as a priority and seek progress in this regard.
The third category is related to technological parameters of AVL, which are still highly controversial. Introducing common standards in this aspect will not effectively solve the humanitarian problems caused by AVL, but will pose practical economic and technological difficulties to many countries. Therefore, it is premature to address these issues for the moment.
China has carefully studied the paper prepared by Amb. Reimma. We would like to express our appreciations for his efforts. The paper lists the issues discussed since the establishment of the GGE. China believes that, the paper of the AVL coordinator should reflect positions of all parties concerned in a more comprehensive and objective manner. That is to say, both common understanding and divergent views should be included. It needs to be stressed that the paper should not make conclusion on issues that are still in dispute. China will present our ideas and proposals on specific contents of the paper at this GGE meeting. We hope that through deliberations during this meeting, the paper could be improved, so as to accurately and objectively reflect the status of the discussion and be conducive to the work of the GGE.
According to the mandate, the GGE will continue to discuss technological improvement of certain specific types of munitions, including submunitions, at military and technological level. China believes that, the Protocol on Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) concluded last year has provided best practices on general preventive measures to improve the reliability of munitions, which is conducive to prevent and reduce the occurrence of ERW and alleviate the humanitarian problems caused by munitions, including submunitions. The pressing task ahead is to attract all countries to join the protocol and promote its early entry into force, rather than hastily starting a new round of negotiation on technological issues which are now still quite controversial. We are pleased to notice that some countries have started their ratification process. China is now positively studying ratifying the protocol and is willing to work with other countries to promote its early entry into force.
To sum up, the Chinese delegation is ready to continue to actively participate in the work of the GGE within its mandate in a constructive manner.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.