Statement by the Chinese Delegation on the Stockpile Management and Surplus Disposal, at the Third Biennial Meeting of States to Consider the Implementation of the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects
(New York, July 15, 2008)
Enhancing the stockpile management of the SALW and appropriate disposal of surplus stockpile are important means to prevent the legal SALW from ending up in illicit channels. Strengthening international cooperation in this field is an important part for promoting the international efforts in combating the illicit trade in SALW. China is of the view that the international efforts should be carried out in the following areas:
Firstly, states should continue to attach great importance to the stockpile management and gradually improve the relevant laws, regulations and stockpile management measures. States should determine the proper size of their stockpile of SALW according to their own security needs, and establish a rigorous inventory and registration system to effectively manage the stockpile and prevent such accidents as thefts and explosions. The stockpile in surplus should be properly disposed through destruction or other means according to the different situations, to avoid the potential security problems.
Secondly, the communication among the states should be enhanced. States can share their effective practices and experiences in the field of stockpile management and surplus disposal through the bilateral or multilateral channels, and jointly explore possible ways to resolve relevant problems and difficulties.
Thirdly, international assistance should be strengthened. Capable states, especially the developed countries, should actively provide financial, technical assistance as well as personnel training, to countries which are facing such difficulties to enhance their stockpile management and dispose the surplus properly. The United Nations and relevant regional organizations should also play an active role in the coordination of such assistance.
China has adopted a series of laws, regulations and administrative procedures to institute strict and standardized measures for the management of stockpiled SALW. The laws and regulations, such as Law of the People's Republic of China on the Control of Firearms, Regulations of the Chinese People's Liberation Army on the Administration of Military Equipment, Provisions on the ControlAdministration and Use of Firearms for Official UseOfficial Use by Public Security OrgansAuthorities, Interim Provisions on the Warehouse Management of theMilitia WeaponaryWeaponry and Equipment, regulate the measures at different levels for stockpile management of SALW used for different purposes. They also provide strict punitive measures for the violations of the relevant regulations and dereliction of duty.
China has instituted a series of measures for the management of stockpiled SALW. China classifies weapons warestorehouses as military restricted zones, and surrounds them with security and protective facilities that feature a tightly-integrated set of measures to prevent theft, fire, lightning strikes and explosions; the warehouses are staffed round the clock with specially-trained security guards, and guards and patrols are increased on holidays, in bad weather or under other special circumstances. Warehouse managers maintain a rigorous inventory and registration system, and checkinghaving weapon categories, models, quantities, quality, and batch numbers are checked weekly on the basis of detailed storage records; any anomalies are immediately reported to their superiors.
China is willing to share with other countries its measures and experiences in stockpile management of SALW, and to provide assistance in the field of stockpile management and surplus disposal of SALW within its own capability to countries in need, thus making contribution to the international efforts in combating the illicit trade in SALW.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.