Statement by the Chinese Delegation at the Thematic Debate on Conventional Weapons at the First Committee of the 64th Session of the UNGA
（New York, October 20, 2009）
The Chinese Government has been always firmly supporting and actively participating in the international conventional arms control process, with the aim of properly addressing the humanitarian issues in the field of conventional arms control. China stands for further strengthening and improving international legal system with regard to conventional arms control, on the basis of balanced treatment of legitimate security needs of countries and humanitarian concerns, thus enhancing international peace and security.
As an important conventional arms control legal instrument, the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) has played an indispensable role in addressing the humanitarian concerns caused by certain conventional weapons such as landmines. In recent years, as increasing international attention has been paid to conventional arms control issues with humanitarian dimension, great importance has been attached to the work of the CCW by the international community with the vitality of the Convention on the rise. China has all along attached importance to and supported the work of the CCW, and has earnestly fulfilled its obligations under the CCW and relevant protocols. China is firmly committed to enhancing the effectiveness and universality of the CCW.
China attaches importance to the humanitarian concerns related to cluster munitions, and supports international efforts in resolving this issue through practical and feasible measures. The CCW framework, which includes all major producers, users and transferors of cluster munitions, provides the most appropriate platform for addressing cluster munitions issue. China has actively participated in the CCW Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) on Cluster Munitions, and has played a constructive role in promoting the work of the GGE. China will continue to make joint efforts with all parties, based on balanced treatment of legitimate security needs and humanitarian concerns, in seeking a practical and feasible solution to the issue of cluster munitions as soon as possible within the framework of the CCW.
China has actively taken part in international humanitarian demining efforts by providing assistance within its own capacity to mine-affected countries. Since 1998, the Chinese Government has provided humanitarian demining assistance to more than 20 countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America in the form of financial donations, provision of demining equipments and training courses. Last September, China hosted a demining training course for Afghanistan and Iraq, with 20 trainees from each country. China also donated a batch of demining equipments to these two countries.
China is concerned about regional instability and humanitarian issue caused by illicit trafficking and misuse of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW). China believes, in this regard, it is important to fully and effectively implement existing relevant international instruments, including UN Programme of Action (PoA) on SALW and the International Instrument for Identifying and Tracing Illicit SALW, further strengthen national capacity building of countries, and promote the multilateral process of combating illicit trade of SALW continuously.
Conventional arms trade has a direct bearing on political, security and economic interests of all states, as well as regional security even global security. China supports international efforts in taking proper measures to regulate relevant arms trade, particularly to combat illicit arms trafficking.
China is of the view that the primary objective of an “Arms Trade Treaty” (ATT) is to maintain global and regional stability and enable every country to exercise the right of self-defense and meet its security needs. The ATT should be universal, objective and non-discriminatory.
Discussions in the Open-ended Working Group on ATT show that divergence of views still exist on many important issues such as purpose and objectives, scope of application, relevant principles and elements of the ATT. Full engagement of all major arms trade countries is indispensable in seeking solutions to the above issues. We believe that discussions among relevant parties on these issues should continue, within the framework of the United Nations, in a step-by-step manner and on the basis of consensus, with the aim of reaching common understanding. Only by this way, can the outcome of the discussions be universally supported and effectively implemented. In the meantime, the role of the Conference on Disarmament as the sole multilateral disarmament negotiating forum should not be undermined by the above-mentioned discussions.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman,