Statement by H.E. Ambassador Wang Qun Head of the Chinese Delegation At the Meeting of States Parties to The Biological Weapons Convention
At the outset, on behalf of the Chinese delegation, please allow me to congratulate you on your assumption of the Chairmanship of the 2009 Meeting of States Parties to the Biological Weapons Convention (hereinafter referred to as "the Convention"). The Chinese delegation pledges you its full support in the discharge of your duty.
The international security situation is undergoing complex and profound changes. World multipolarization is intensifying and science and technology are progressing rapidly. The far-reaching implications of international financial crisis have emerged before our eyes. Traditional and non-traditional security threats are intertwined. Terrorism, proliferation of weapons of massive destruction and prevalence of infectious diseases constitute grave challenges to global security.
The Convention has played an irreplaceable role in eliminating the threat of and preventing proliferation of biological weapons, combating bio-terrorism and strengthening bio-safety and bio-security. The implementation of the Convention is going well in general and the universalization of the Convention is steadily improving with the number of States Parties reaching 163. 62 States Parties submitted confidence-building measures (CBMs) to cover the calender year 2008. 69 States Parties have set up national points of contact for implementation of the Convention. The Implementation Support Unit (ISU) is functioning smoothly and has gained broad support from States Parties. China appreciates the active role played by the Chairman and the ISU in improving universalization, promoting implementation of the Convention and strengthening exchanges among States Parties.
To strengthen disease surveillance and control capabilities under the Convention is of great importance to the protection against bio-terrorism, the enhancement of global bio-security and the improvement of the capacity for implementing the Convention. Lots of good suggestions and proposals were put forward during the Meeting of Experts. China appreciates the efforts made by the Chairman including the submission of the Synthesis Paper, which comprehensively summarized the views and suggestions from each side. States Parties could further broad consensus on the basis of this paper and put forward practical and feasible suggestions.
In today's world where trans-boundary prevalence of diseases is increasing, global disease surveillance and control pose a serious challenge and no single country can combat epidemics alone. Recognizing huge financial and technological gaps between developing countries and developed countries, developing countries have become the weak link in the global campaign of combating diseases. The capacities of most developing countries in the fields of disease surveillance, detection, diagnosis and containment are inadequate. They also face difficulties in developing infrastructures, retaining skilled human resources and acquiring the necessary materials, equipment and technology for disease surveillance and control.
According to Article X of the Convention, States Parties to the Convention in a position to do so shall cooperate in the field of bacteriology (biology) for the prevention of disease. Therefore, to promote capacity building of developing countries in the field of disease surveillance and control not only conforms to the principles of the Convention, but also constitutes a prerequisite for enhancing global public health security. In this regard, China's perspectives on strengthening disease surveillance and international cooperation are as follows:
I. Disease surveillance and response are primarily national responsibilities. States Parties should establish and improve disease surveillance and response mechanisms according to their individual circumstances and requirements, for the purpose of improving their national health to the maximum.
II. Governmental competent authority should play a leading role in this area, ensuring effective communication and coordination among human, animal and plant health sectors, while pharmaceutical industries, academia and non-governmental organizations should take an active part in their respective areas.
III. Strengthen assistance to developing countries. The developed countries and countries with greater capacity are encouraged to help developing countries, in various ways and on the basis of equality, cooperation and mutual respect, promote the capacity building, develop necessary infrastructure and human resources and bridge financial and technical gaps.
IV. Promote international cooperation through the exchange of epidemics information, equipment, science and technology and human resources, the removal of all restrictions on the transfer for peaceful purposes, and the promotion of experiences sharing among States Parties.
V. Encourage relevant international organizations such as WHO, OIE and FAO to continue to play an active role in coordinating international cooperation and assistance activities and increasing attention to diseases that are prevalent in developing countries.
All provisions including Article X of the Convention are equally important and should be fully implemented. To strengthen international cooperation helps improve the implementation capability of States Parties, promote the effectiveness of the Convention and finally enhance the universalization of the Convention. International cooperation and non-proliferation are not contradictory.
In this regard, China fully supports the working paper submitted by the NAM and other States Parties, entitled The Establishment of a Mechanism for the Full Implementation of Article X of the Convention. We are ready to engage in participative discussions with rest of the States Parties on the establishment of a mechanism for the full implementation of Article X of the Convention.
China supports this meeting to achieve a positive outcome and will make active contributions to the success of this meeting in an open, pragmatic and cooperative manner.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.