Statement by H.E. Ambassador HU Xiaodi Head of the Chinese Delegation At the Ninth Session of the Group of Governmental Experts of the States Parties to The Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons
The Chinese delegation welcomes you and two 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.
In the recent three years, the GGE has been working extensively on the issue of Mines Other than Anti-Personnel Mines (MOTAPM) involving all its aspects. More and more concrete proposals and suggestions have been put forward. The deliberations have gone deeper and deeper. Now, both the common understanding and divergence are evident. This meeting is the last session of the GGE for this year and is highly important for us. We hope that all parties could forward an objective, comprehensive and realistic report to the States Parties Meeting by taking a pragmatic attitude, fully considering the concerns of each party and in accordance with the mandate of the GGE.
China's position on the issue of MOTAPM remains unchanged. We believe that though MOTAPM indeed cause certain humanitarian problems, the extent of which is by no means comparable to that inflicted by Anti-Personnel Landmines (APL). Therefore, it is not fair to approach MOTAPM and APL in an identical manner. The Amended Landmine Protocol, taking into account this factor, provides different solutions for the two types of landmine on the basis of full deliberations by all parties. We hold that the restrictive measures provided in the Protocol are appropriate and rational. Should the Protocol be observed universally and strictly, the issue of MOTAPM would be well addressed.
This notwithstanding, the Chinese delegation has all along been taking an active part in the GGE's discussions and has shown considerable flexibility. Proceeding from the goal of effectively addressing the humanitarian concerns and taking into account the status of the discussion as well as positions of all parties, China, in a pragmatic and constructive manner, proposed a package solution as follows:
l Issues that we have discussed maturely and achieved considerable common ground upon, such as transfer of MOTAPM and irresponsible use of MOTAPM by non-state actors, can be solved through negotiation, and a voluntary best practice for the sensitive fuse could be drafted.
l Proposals on the restrictions on the use of MOTAPM, such as detectability, self-destruction and self-deactivation requirements, have been proved to be highly controversial and will entail substantial difficulties to many countries, thus it is premature to address them for the moment.
The GGE has been working hard for the past three years. Many efforts were made with the hope of pushing the work forward. In this regard, we all share the same goal. It is now high time for us to make an objective analysis of the current status and future prospect of work, and on that basis chart our course of action. In fact, the possibility of making substantive progress does exits. In other words, it is possible to adopt a mandate serving the interests of and acceptable to all parties. We should be realistic and at the same time confident. It should be realized that any progress we make would contribute to the humanitarian cause. The significance of our work lies right on that and should be in no way underestimated.
The Chinese delegation thanks Ambassador Reimma, the Coordinator for the issue of MOTAPM, for preparing the revised coordinator's paper, which provides reference and input to the GGE discussions. We have carefully studied the paper. We note that, compared with the previous draft, the content of the paper is somewhat updated. Yet in terms of objectiveness and comprehensiveness, frankly speaking, it remains largely unchanged. Since the paper is submitted under the personal responsibility of the Coordinator, it should be dealt with as such rather than as a GGE's formal document. At the last session, the Chinese delegation has presented comments and proposals on specific contents of the previous draft. Based on that, we will make further comments on the newly revised one at this session.
As to the issue of technological improvement of certain specific types of munitions, the Protocol on Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) has provided best practices. The pressing task ahead is to promote its early entry into force and put relevant provisions into effect, rather than hastily starting a new round of negotiation. Currently, China is positively considering to ratify the protocol.
Regarding the issue of compliance, China is of the view that the relevant provisions in the Amended Landmine Protocol are appropriate and rational, which should serve as a good reference for our discussion.
The Chinese delegation is ready to actively participate in the forthcoming discussions in a constructive manner and promote, on the basis of consensus, substantial progress in the work of the GGE.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.