Statement by Mr. Kang Yong,Head of the Chinese Delegation, at the General Debate of the United Nations Disarmament Commission
(New York, 29 March, 2010)
At the outset, please allow me, on behalf of the Chinese Delegation, to express congratulations on your assumption of the Chairmanship of this session of the United Nations Disarmament Commission (UNDC). I am convinced that with your diplomatic experience and skill, you will lead this session to fruitful results. The Chinese Delegation will offer its full cooperation to you and to other delegations. I also would like to take this opportunity to express appreciations to your predecessor, Ambassador Andrzej Towpik of Poland, for his outstanding work.
Nowadays, the interdependence between various countries in the security field is increasingly deepened, the exchanges and cooperation among countries are strengthened and the concept of security for all is accepted by more and more people. At the same time, the international society is still facing more and more security challenges. The regional conflicts and hotspot issues keep emerging. Terrorism is rampant. There is still a long way to go in multilateral arms control and non-proliferation.
China maintains that, in order to further push forward the multilateral arms control and non-proliferation process in a fair and effective way, the international community should embrace a new security concept featuring mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and coordination, fully respect and accommodate the legitimate security concerns of countries, establish state-to-state relations of mutual understanding and mutual trust, adhere to multilateralism, consolidate the collective security system with the United Nations (UN) at its core and attain the goal of security for all through mutually beneficial means.
To prohibit completely and destruct thoroughly nuclear weapons and realize a world free of such weapons is related to the welfare of all mankind and is the common aspiration of all the peace-loving people from all countries of the world. At present, the international society is facing a good opportunity to push forward the international nuclear disarmament process, and should make joint efforts to take the following practical measures:
Firstly, nuclear-weapon states should fulfill in good faith their nuclear disarmament obligations as contained in the Article VI of the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), and publicly undertake not to seek permanent possession of nuclear weapons. At the same time, the global strategic balance and stability should be maintained. As countries with the largest nuclear arsenals, the United States and the Russian Federation should continue to take the lead in making drastic and substantive reductions in their nuclear weapons in a verifiable and irreversible manner. We welcome the negotiations on a new bilateral agreement on the reduction of strategic weapons by the United States and the Russia Federation, and hope that two sides will reach agreement at an early date.
Secondly, nuclear-weapon states should reduce the role of nuclear weapons in their national security and abandon the doctrines of nuclear deterrence based on the first use of nuclear weapons, so as to practically reduce nuclear threats. All nuclear-weapon states should undertake clearly and unconditionally not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states or nuclear-weapon-free zones, and conclude a legally-binding international instrument on it. In the meantime, nuclear-weapon states should negotiate and conclude a treaty on no-first-use of nuclear weapons against one another.
Thirdly, the international community should exert joint efforts to advance the multilateral nuclear disarmament process. The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) should be brought into force at an early date, and the negotiation on the Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty should be started in the framework of Conference on Disarmament (CD) in Geneva as soon as possible. The efforts of countries of relevant regions to establish nuclear-weapon-free zones on the basis of consultations among themselves and voluntary agreements must be respected and supported.
Fourthly, to attain the ultimate goal of complete and thorough nuclear disarmament under valid international monitor, the international community should develop, at an appropriate time, a viable, long-term plan composed of phased actions, including the conclusion of a convention of the complete prohibition of nuclear weapons.
Nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament are mutually reinforcing and supplementary to each other. To push forward the international nuclear non-proliferation efforts effectively and eliminate the risks of nuclear proliferation is extremely important for the realization of the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons and maintaining international and regional peace and stability. In this regard, the international society should channel efforts in the following aspects:
Firstly, foster a peaceful and stable international environment with security for all, respect the security interests of each other, and enhance mutual trust, so as to remove the root causes to reserve or seek nuclear weapons.
Secondly, adhere to resolve non-proliferation hotspot issues through dialogue and negotiations. The parties concerned should fully explore political wisdom and jointly seek proper resolutions to the issues. Sanctions and pressure can hardly offer fundamental solutions to the issues.
Thirdly, the impartiality and nondiscrimination of the international efforts in nuclear non-proliferation should be ensured, and a balance between non-proliferation and peaceful use of nuclear energy should be struck. The legitimate rights of each state to peaceful use of nuclear energy should be respected and ensured, and the practice of double standard should be firmly abandoned.
Fourthly, the international nuclear non-proliferation legal system should be consolidated and enhanced. The universality, authority and effectiveness of the NPT should be further promoted, the safeguard capability of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) be strengthened and the Resolution 1540 of the UN Security Council be implemented in a comprehensive way.
Fifthly, promote nuclear security level in the global scope. Credible and effective measures should be taken to ensure the security of nuclear facilities and materials and prevent the diversion of nuclear materials. Furthermore, all countries should intensify cooperation in combating nuclear terrorism.
The upcoming NPT Review Conference is of great significance. All parties should seize this opportunity and work to advance the NPT's three major objectives of nuclear non-proliferation, nuclear disarmament and peaceful use of nuclear energy in a comprehensive and balanced manner, so that the Review Conference could produce substantive outcomes.
China has always stood for the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons, and adheres firmly to the nuclear strategy of self-defense. We have faithfully abided by our commitment that we will not be the first to use nuclear weapons at any time and under any circumstances and that we will unconditionally not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states or nuclear-weapon-free zones. In fact, China is the only nuclear weapon state that has undertaken such a commitment. China has always exercised the utmost restraint on development of nuclear weapons. We have never participated in any form of nuclear arms race and have never deployed such weapons on foreign soil. This, in itself, is our unique contribution to nuclear disarmament.
China has always supported and participated actively in the international non-proliferation efforts. We have fulfilled strictly our obligations of international non-proliferation and put in place a comprehensive system of laws and regulations on export control which are basically identical with international practices. China calls for peaceful resolutions to the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula and the Iranian nuclear issue through dialogue and negotiation, and has made unremitting efforts toward this goal. We are ready to work with other relevant parties to actively promote the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and proper settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue, with a view to safeguarding international non-proliferation regime and maintaining regional peace and stability.
It is of great significance for promoting the international arms control and non-proliferation process to declare the decade of 2010 as the Fourth Disarmament Decade. In the last session of the UNDC, various parties carried out beneficial discussion on the Elements of a Draft Declaration of the Fourth Disarmament Decade and reached much common understanding. We hope that all parties will intensify efforts, respect and accommodate each other's concerns, work together and try to reach agreement on the Elements of a Draft Declaration at an early date.
China is of the view that the Declaration of the Fourth Disarmament Decade should be in line with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and the guiding principles enshrined in the Final Document of the First Special Session of the General Assembly Devoted to Disarmament (SSOD-I). Based on the new characteristics of the current international security situation, the Declaration should specify the main tasks and priorities of the international arms control and non-proliferation for next decade. The content of the Declaration should be comprehensive and well-balanced, which will obtain universal support from all parties.
The UNDC is the sole multilateral disarmament deliberative body. In the new situation, strengthening the work of the UNDC will play a positive role in advancing the multilateral arms control and non-proliferation. China is willing to make joint efforts with all other parties to promote the work of this session of the UNDC, with a view to making contributions to the fair, reasonable and sound development of the international arms control and non-proliferation process.
I thank you, Mr. Chairman.