Statement by H.E.Ambassador Wang Qun, Head of the Chinese Delegation at the Session of the Group of Governmental Experts to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons
On the outset,please allow me,on behalf of the Chinese delegation,to congratulate you on your election to the presidency of the Group of Governmental Experts(GGE) on cluster munitions of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons.I believe that with your talents and wisdom,you will certainly lead the Group to achieve active fruits. The Chinese delegation will assure the full cooperation with you and other delegations.
The Chinese Government attaches importance in the issue of cluster munitions and is dedicated to the endevour together with the international community to find a feasible way to resolve the humanitarian concerns caused by cluster munitions.
We are delighted to notice that in recent years,the States Parties to the Convention on the Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May be Deemed to be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects(CCW) have carried out a series of fruitful work on the issue of cluster munitions.The agreement and entrance into force of the Protocol on the Explosive Remnants of war(ERW) have provided sufficient legislative ground in resolving the humanitarian concerns caused by ERWs including unexploded submunitons.The GGE's discussion of on the application of the International Humanitarian Law (IHL)has deepened the understanding of relative aspects of this issue among the States Parties.Last year,during the session of CCW's GGE,the meeting of CCW's High Contracting Parties and expert meeting held by the International Committee of Red Cross have undertaken broad and in-depth discussions around the application of the IHL to the issue of cluster munitions and the measures of technical improvement,which would be of great help for each side to form a comprehensive and objective concept on the issue of cluster munitions and set up a solid foundation for our present work as well.
The Chinese side welcomes and support the decision of the States Parties on the establishment of a GGE to negotiate a proposal for resolving the issue of cluster munitions.We hope that during the negotiating process,all the States Parties could seek common ground and close divergences continuously in a constructive way to achieve a practical result.The Chinese side will actively take part in the work of the GGE to make contributions for the process under the framework of the CCW to resolve the issue of cluster munitions.
The Chinese side always holds the idea that we should keep the following points in mind while handling the issue of cluster munitions:
Firstly,we should select a proper lieu.The process under the framework of CCW ,which has got all the major manufacturers,users and transferors of the cluster munitons involved to ensure the universality of the relative resolution,is the most appropriate lieu for handling this issue.
Secondly,we should follow CCW's principle of concertation,take due consideration of the differences existing among states,practically resolve reasonable concerns of each side.
Thirdly,we should stick to the principle of striking a balancing between military necessities and humanitarian concern to arrive at a comprehensive,practical and feasible solution.
The issue of cluster munitions which is related with multiple aspects such as military,technology and legislation, is an issue of complexity to some extent.Hence,it is necessary for each side to undertake further discussion on the way of thinking in resolving this issue,seek convergence patiently and in an open-minded way to create conditions for negotiating on specific issues at the next stage.
I would like to make use of this opportunity to express views of the Chinese side on several aspects.
1.cluster muniton's military value.
To those states which are faced with complicated security environment,cluster munitions are still of irreplacible military value.It is partial to resolve humanitarian concerns simply by the means of prohibition while ignoring the reasonable military need of certain nations.The practical way is to analyze the causes of humanitarian concerns objectively and adapt pertinent measures to solve them.
2. Major ways to resolve the humanitarian concerns caused by cluster munitions
In a historical perspective, irresponsible use of cluster munitions and its unexploded submunitions are the main factors which cause humanitarian concerns. Therefore, based on the perspective of the use and post-war clearance, specific measures could be taken to confine and standardize cluster munitions' targets and procedure of operations and to enhance the clearance of unexploded submunitions.
About the confine of the use of cluster munitions. The Chinese side deems, relevant principles established in the international humanitarian laws including the Geneva Conventions and their additional protocols, such as principle of differentiation, principle of military necessity, principle of balance and principle of taking precautionary measures, have provide useful thinking to addressing the humanitarian concerns caused by cluster munitions.
About the enhancement the clearance of unexploded sub munitions. ERW has comparably complete and specific regulations, including the survey, marking clearance, destroy and specific practice of relevant international cooperation and assistance. This has provided adequate legal ground to the clearance of unexploded sub munitions. All parties should take measures to ensure the fulfillment of ERW, and make specific relevant measures about the post-war clearance of cluster munitions.
3. Technical measures to improve cluster munitions
At present, all parties have comparably big divergences on the necessity and how to take technical measures. As a matter of fact, all states have subjective wishes to improve the reliability and accuracy of arms through technical measures. But the above-mentioned wishes are inevitably confined by different economic, technological and industrial levels of different states, especially for the arms with comparably high technologies like cluster munitions. Therefore, it is difficult to make mandatory regulations and norms. In this regard, best practice of some kind could be considered to be provided to the improvement of technical measures of states. This could be a comparably realistic and feasible way.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.