Statement by the Chinese Delegation on the 10th Anniversary of the Opening for Signature of the Ottawa Mine Ban Convention at the First Committee of the 62nd Session of the UNGA
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the opening for signature of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction (Ottawa Mine Ban Convention). Over the 10 years, the Convention has made important contribution to easing the humanitarian concerns caused by anti-personnel landmines (APLs).
The Chinese Government fully shares and attaches great importance to the humanitarian concerns caused by landmines, and has made unremitting efforts to address this issue with practical measures.
China actively deals with the landmine problem on its territory. Since 1990s, for the purpose of safeguarding the civilians' lives and safety in the border areas and promoting local economic and social development, China has conducted three large-scale de-mining operations in the border areas, thus basically eliminated the landmine problem within its borders.
Since its accession to the Amended Protocol on Landmines in 1998, China has all along strictly abided by the provisions of the Protocol. Practical and effective measures were taken to destroy or technically modify those APLs which failed to meet relevant technical requirements of the Amended Protocol. This September, China submitted its annual report on time on the implementation of the Amended Protocol on Landmines as usual.
China has observed in good faith its commitment declared in 1996 to a moratorium on export of APL that do not meet the requirements of the Protocol. In resent years, China has basically stopped the export of various kinds of landmines.
China understands and sympathizes with other countries' suffering from landmines, and has been actively engaged in international de-mining assistance and cooperation. Since 1990s, the Chinese Government has provided de-mining assistance to more than 10 countries in Asia and Africa by various means, including financial donation, provision of de-mining equipments, dispatch of peace-keeping engineer troops and host of personnel training courses.
-- In 1998, China donated 100,000 US dollars to the UN Voluntary Trust Fund for Mine Clearance Assistance, which was earmarked for mine actions in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
-- In 1999 and 2000, the Chinese Government, in cooperation with the United Nations, organized two de-mining training courses for trainees from Cambodia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Angola, Namibia, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Mozambique.
-- In 2001, China provided some de-mining equipment to Cambodia, Angola, Namibia, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Mozambique.
-- In 2002 and 2003, China sent two groups of de-mining experts to Eritrea to train and guide the Eritrean de-mining troops in their de-mining operations. Some de-mining equipment were donated to Eritrea.
-- In September 2005, China carried out its de-mining assistance program in Thailand by donating de-mining equipment and sending an expert group to train local de-mining personnel and guide field de-mining operations.
-- From September to December 2006, China hosted a de-mining training course for 40 trainees from Lebanon and Jordan, and donated a number of de-mining equipment to these two countries.
-- According to the Beijing Action Plan adopted at the Beijing Summit of the China-Africa Forum in 2006, the Chinese Government pledged that it would continue to provide de-mining assistance within its capability to mine-affected African countries. From later this month, China will host a de-mining training course for the de-mining officers from five mine-affected African countries, namely Angola, Burundi, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique and Chad. China will also donate some de-mining equipments to these countries.
-- For many times, the Chinese peace-keeping engineer troops participated in de-mining operations in Cambodia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan and Lebanon. In 2007, the Chinese peace-keeping engineering troops to Lebanon received qualification certification from the UN Mine Action Service with their excellent performance. Up to now, the Chinese peace-keeping troops are still conducting operations of eliminating landmines and other unexploded munitions in Lebanon.
Although China is not a State Party to the Ottawa Mine Ban Convention, it endorses and shares the purpose and objective of the Convention, and appreciates the humanitarianism enshrined in the Convention. In recent years, China has kept useful and constructive contacts and exchange with the process of the Ottawa Mine Ban Convention. Since 2005, China has voted for the Resolutions of the Implementation of the Ottawa Convention at the First Committee of the UN General Assembly. China sincerely hopes to further strengthen its communication and cooperation with State Parties of the Convention and other related international organizations and civil societies, and make unremitting efforts so as to completely address the humanitarian concerns caused by APLs.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.