Implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540
Presentation by Mr. Wu Haitao Deputy Director-General, Department of Arms Control & Disarmament, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, China at NATO Seminar on Proliferation Issues Vilnius, Lithuania, April 18, 2007
Mr. TALAT-KELPSA, Ambassador Erdmann,
Dear colleagues, ladies and gentlemen,
First of all, I would like to express my sincere thanks to NATO and the Lithuanian government. It is the third time that China has been invited to the NATO non-proliferation seminar.
Preventing the proliferation of WMD and their means of delivery is a great challenge to the international community. Today, I would like to take this opportunity to share with you China's view on the current non-proliferation situation, the significance of UNSCR 1540, China's non-proliferation policy and its measures to implement UNSCR 1540, and China's propositions to address the proliferation problems.
Since the beginning of the new century, the issue of non-proliferation has become increasingly pressing and affected regional and international peace and security. Looking at the current non-proliferation situation, we are faced with both important opportunities and severe challenges.
Over the years, the international community has, through unremitting efforts, established an international non-proliferation system guided by the UN Charter, based on the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Biological Weapons Convention and complemented with various non-proliferation regimes and initiatives. All these efforts have effectively contained the proliferation of WMD and their means of delivery, and played an important role in maintaining the international and regional peace and stability.
On the other hand, the road to peaceful resolution of the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue and the Iran nuclear issue remains arduous. Due to economic globalization and the rapid development of information technology, the spread and acquisition of sensitive items and technologies have become easier, thus making the task of non-proliferation more difficult. The risk of illicit trafficking and acquiring of WMD and related materials by non-state actors, especially by terrorists still exists.
Three years ago, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 1540. As the first resolution devoted to non-proliferation by the Security Council, it is very important to the international non-proliferation cause. The adoption of Resolution 1540 fully demonstrated the solidarity and as well as the consensus of the international community to prevent the proliferation of WMD, and promoted global cooperation in this regard. UNSCR 1540 calls on all states, on the basis of the existing international law, to strengthen export control in order to prevent the illicit trafficking and acquisition of WMD and related materials and technologies by non-state actors. It provides important assurances for countries to deal with new problems in non-proliferation under the changing circumstances.
China views and deals with non-proliferation issue from the strategic perspective of maintaining world as well as China's peace, security and stability. From the world's perspective, the proliferation of WMD is against the common aspiration of all countries to seek peace, cooperation and development. From China's perspective, WMD proliferation is detrimental to China's efforts in achieving economic development and social progress.
Based on this judgement, China firmly opposes proliferation of WMD and their means of delivery. We do not support, encourage or facilitate any country in developing WMD. As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China always deals with non-proliferation issues with a highly responsible attitude.
China has actively participated in the international non-proliferation process, joined all the relevant international treaties and organizations, and faithfully fulfilled our international obligations.
China has resolutely promoted the Six-Party Talks on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, and has taken an active part in the diplomatic efforts in solving the Iran nuclear issue through negotiation.
China maintains that effective export control is an important means to achieve non-proliferation goals. We have continuously strengthened export control through improving legislation, enhancing law enforcement, and carrying out industry outreach activities.
China has been actively engaged in international non-proliferation exchanges and cooperation. We have maintained consultations and dialogue with many countries and regimes with a view to learn from their experience and practices.
China supports the United Nations' role in non-proliferation. We welcome the adoption of Resolution 1540 by the Security Council.
The Chinese Government attaches high importance to the implementation of the resolution. Immediately after the adoption of the resolution, its full text was published on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China. The relevant ministries and local governments were promptly informed and required to implement the resolution faithfully. The existing legal system of China and its practice on non-proliferation export control are basically consistent with the requirements of the resolution.
China was among the first countries to submit its national report on implementation of the resolution to the 1540 Committee. The report lays out in detail our specific measures in implementing the resolution. China supports the wor of 1540 Committee, participated in its work in a constructive manner, and maintained close communication with the committee on issues concerning the implementation of the resolution.
China supports regional efforts in promoting the implementation of the resolution. In July 2006, China co-hosted a seminar on implementing the resolution in the Asia-Pacific region with UN, EU and some other countries in Beijing. As the first seminar on implementation of the resolution in the Asia-Pacific region, it represented the first attempt by countries in the region to share experience and seek cooperation. It was a good beginning for promoting comprehensive implementation of the resolution in the region. I would like to take this opportunity to extend our sincere gratitude to the UNDDA, EU, and the governments of Australia, Denmark, Norway, and the UK for their support. In addition, China also attended the seminars on the implementation of resolution in Almaty and San Francisco.
Submission of the national report is only the first step for the implementation of the resolution. Effective implementation of the resolution requires full participation and close coordination of the whole international community. In this regard, the following points should be emphasized:
First, member states should, as required by the resolution, enact and improve their export control legislations, and strengthen domestic administration and export control.
Second, member states should continue to engage in international cooperation and share useful experience and practices to improve the capability and level of implementing the resolution.
Third, the 1540 Committee should continue to carry out its mandate to ensure the comprehensive and balanced implementation of the resolution.
It is not only in the interest of all countries but also a responsibility of each State to maintain and strengthen the existing international non-proliferation system and push forward the international non-proliferation process. To promote the sound development of international non-proliferation cause, China wishes to propose the following:
First, a global security environment featuring stability, cooperation and mutual trust shall be fostered to eradicate the motive for acquiring WMD. This is the fundamental way for eliminating proliferation and the prerequisite for pushing forward the non-proliferation process.
Second, the goal of non-proliferation is to maintain and promote regional and international peace and security. Therefore, any non-proliferation measure should serve this purpose. Non-proliferation issues should be dealt with within the framework of international law and through political and diplomatic means of dialogue and cooperation.
Third, multilateralism should be upheld. The role of the UN and other relevant international organizations should be given full play. The existing international non-proliferation regimes should be further improved and strengthened.
Fourth, the relationship between non-proliferation and peaceful use should be properly handled. Non-proliferation should not deprive countries of the legitimate rights to peaceful use. And peaceful use shall not be used as a pretext for proliferation.
Non-proliferation is a long-term task for the international community. Implementation of Resolution 1540 is a long process. China stands ready to enhance exchanges and cooperation with all parties including NATO, to promote the full implementation of the resolution, so as to make contributions to the international non-proliferation process, as well as regional and international peace, security and stability.
To conclude, I wish the seminar full success.