Statement by the Chinese Delegation on the Illicit Brokering of Small Arms and Light Weapons, 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)
Strict administration of SALW brokers and brokering activities and combat against illicit brokering activities are of great importance in effectively closing the channel for illicit transfer of SALW and cutting off the chain for illicit trade of SALW. Therefore, enhancing the administration of brokering is an indispensable part of the international efforts to combat the illicit trade in SALW.
Last year, the UN Group of Governmental Experts on illicit brokering of SALW concluded its report, which objectively summarizes measures taken by countries and regions in the field of brokering regulation, as well as the problems they face, providing a series of helpful recommendations for the international cooperation in the field of combating the illicit brokering in SALW. China believes that this report plays a significant role in the further promotion of the international efforts in combating the illicit brokering of SALW, and the international community should refer to the recommendations and take practical and effective measures to strengthen the administration of brokering activities and promote relevant international cooperation.
Firstly, states should strengthen legislation, establish and improve relevant laws, regulations and control measures and emphasize law-enforcement related capacity-building. Such efforts can be carried out in the overall framework of export control of SALW in order to complement and promote other export control measures.
Secondly, states can, on a volunteer basis, and in the precondition of ensuring national security and legitimate commercial interests, carry out information exchange and law enforcement cooperation in combating the illicit brokering activities through bilateral channels or relevant multilateral mechanism.
Thirdly, the international assistance should be strengthened to enhance the capability of relevant states to combat the illicit brokering of SALW. The developed countries should bear the primary responsibility in this aspect and the United Nations and regional organizations should also play an active role in coordination, including gathering relevant information of assistance, organizing multilateral assistance programs. Other international organizations such as INTERPOL, may also make full use of their professional expertise and mechanisms to facilitate campaigns of relevant countries to combat the illicit brokering of SALW.
China firmly opposes the illicit trade of SALW, and takes a cautious and responsible approach towards the export of arms, including SALW. China strictly controls the arms export in accordance with its international obligations and its domestic laws and regulations.
China's arms exports are governed by the following three principles: arms exports should be conducive to the legitimate self-defence capability of the recipient country; arms exports should not undermine the peace, security and stability of the region concerned or the world as a whole; arms exports should not be used as a means of interfering in the internal affairs of the recipient country. China exports arms only to governments of sovereign States, and requires them to provide end-user and end-use certificates; it also requires commitment from them that such arms will not be transferred to any third parties without the permission of the Chinese Government. China has never exported arms to non-state entities or individuals. As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China consistently and conscientiously implements relevant UNSC resolutions and has refrains from selling prohibited arms to countries or regions upon which arms embargoes have been imposed by the Security Council.
In accordance with the Regulations on the Administration of Arms Export, all arms trade activities in China are carried out exclusively by specific companies that have been designated and authorized by the State. Currently, the Chinese Government has authorized ten companies to engage in specified arms export activities, and only four of those are authorized to export firearms. Engagement in such arms export activities, including arms brokering, by any other entity or individual is illegal. Any activities which violate the regulations will receive strict punitive measures including administrative and criminal penalties.
China is ready to work with the international community to constantly promote the international efforts in combating the illicit brokering of SALW and making contributions to effective resloving the issue of illicit trade of SALW.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.