Statement on Assistance in Mine Action by the Chinese Delegation at the Fourth Committee of the 62nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly
The Chinese Delegation thanks H.E.Mr.Guehenno for his briefing on the progress of mine action, and would like to take this opportunity to express its appreciation for the work done by the United Nations in the field of mine action.
The Chinese Government attaches importance to the humanitarian concerns caused by landmines and supports the unremitting efforts by the international community to address the concerns of the mine-affected countries. China is vigorously dedicated to the international demining assistance and cooperation.
China believes that the Amended Protocol II (APII) of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons has struck a proper balance between the humanitarian concerns and the legitimate military need of sovereign states. In addressing the humanitarian concerns caused by landmines, it is of vital importance to enhance the universality of this protocol and maintain its authoritativeness. Since its accession to APII in 1998, China has always strictly abided by the provisions of the Protocol. The Chinese military has carried out practical and effective measures, including necessary technical modification of old and obsolete stockpiled anti-personnel landmines (APLs) to make sure that the APLs in service meet relevant technical requirements of APII. In the 1990s, by carrying out two large-scaled demining operations in border areas, China has almost eliminated the landmine threats on its territory.
China respects and appreciates the choice of the State Parities of the Ottawa Convention to address the humanitarian concerns caused by landmines by means of comprehensive ban on landmines. Although China is not a State Party of the Ottawa Convention, it endorses and shares the purpose and objective of the Convention. In recent years, China has voted in favour of the Resolution entitled "Implementation of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction" at the First Committee of the UN General Assembly, which fully demonstrates that China affirms and values the role of the Convention.
China attaches great importance to international demining assistance. Since 1998, the Chinese Government has actively participated in the demining operations in more than 10 countries in Asia and Africa by providing financial donation and demining equipments, dispatching peace-keeping engineering troops and demining expert groups, as well as hosting demining training courses. The Chinese peace-keeping engineering troops in Lebanon have received demining certification from the UN with excellent performance. Today, the Chinese peace-keeping troops are still conducting landmines and unexploded ordnance (UXO) clearance in Lebanon.
In the Beijing Action Plan adopted at the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation last year, the Chinese Government pledged that it would continue to support and participate in humanitarian demining process in Africa, and provide demining assistance within its capability to mine-affected African countries . From last month, China hosts a demining training course in Nanjing, China for demining personnel from 5 mine-affected African countries namely Angola, Burundi, Chad, Guinea-Bissau and Mozambique. China will also donate some demining equipments to these 5 countries.
We are glad to see that in recent years, international mine actions have played a positive role in reducing mine threats and promoting economic and social development in many countries. China is ready to continue to cooperate closely with all parties to make new contributions to resolving the humanitarian concerns caused by landmines.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.