Statement by H.E. Ambassador Wang Qun, Head of the Chinese Delegation at the Meeting of States Parties to the Biological Weapons Convention
(Geneva, 6th Dec. 2010)
First of all, please allow me to congratulate you on behalf of the Chinese delegation on your assumption of the Chairmanship of the 2010 Meeting of States Parties to the Biological Weapons Convention. We are confident that your rich diplomatic experience would guide this meeting to a fruitful conclusion. The Chinese delegation assures you of its full support in the discharge of your duty.
We live in a world where the trend of multi-polarization and economic globalization is gaining momentum. The overall international security situation is stable, but uncertainties on the rise. With traditional security issues unsolved, non-traditional security issues such as terrorism, proliferation of weapons of massive destruction and spread of pandemics are becoming increasingly protruding. Addressing global threats and challenges requires joint efforts and intensified cooperation of States Parties.
The Convention has been playing an irreplaceable role in eliminating the threat of biological weapons and preventing their proliferation, combating bio-terrorism and strengthening bio-safety and bio-security. In general, the Convention is being well implemented and has become increasingly universal in its membership. The number of States Parties has reached 163. The Implementation Support Unit (ISU) is functioning smoothly and has gained broad support from States Parties.
The enhancement of global bio-safety and bio-security, improvement in States Parties' capability for the implementation of the Convention, and the strengthening of related assistance and cooperation under the Convention contribute to the timely and effective respond to the use of biological weapons or bio-terrorist attacks. Broad and in-depth discussions on the related issues were carried out and lots of good suggestions and proposals were put forward during the Meeting of Experts. China appreciates the Synthesis Paper submitted by the Chairman, and is ready to continue discussions with all parties on the basis of this paper, with a view to expanding common ground and making practical and feasible suggestions.
Now, I would like to set forth China's perspectives in connection with this meeting's agenda items:
I. China supports States Parties, according to their specific needs and circumstances, to take effective national measures in response to alleged use of biological weapons, enhance their capacities in disease surveillance, anti-bioterrorism, public health response and investigation, strengthen cooperation and coordination among relevant sectors.
II. Strengthen relevant international assistance to States Parties in need. Developing countries are relatively weak in capacities of disease prevention and control, public health response, and are facing difficulties such as under-developed infrastructure and incomplete emergency response systems. China believes that States Parties in an able position, according to Article VII of the Convention and upon request by the State Party, should provide assistance to countries in need in the fields of funding, equipments, technology and human resources, and carry out relevant cooperation.
III. Give full play of the positive role of relevant international organizations in strengthening disease surveillance and control and related international cooperation. Upon requests by States Parties, the competent international organizations such as WHO, OIE and FAO may, in the field of public health and within their respective mandates, play a coordinating role in assisting the response to alleged use of biological weapons.
IV. Properly address investigation of alleged use of biological weapons. The issue of investigation of alleged use is multi-faceted, involving health, security and other aspects. The investigation should be fair and effective, and protect the legitimate rights of States Parties as well. China believes that the best means to investigate cases of alleged use is the Security Council investigation mechanism established by Article VI of the Convention.
The Seventh Review Conference of the Convention will be held next year. The RevCon will review the implementation of the Convention in the past five years and discuss the future of it. China attaches great importance to the RevCon. To facilitate preparation for the RevCon, China, Canada and the ISU co-hosted an international workshop on Strengthening International Efforts to Prevent the Proliferation of Biological Weapons: the Role of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention in Beijing last November. The co-chairs' summary fully reflects deliberation and constructive proposals put forward during the workshop. China believes that it will contribute to better understanding and bridging differences among all parties, and create conditions for all parties to reach consensus and achieve constructive outcome of the Seventh RevCon. I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to Canada, the ISU and relevant countries for their supports and help, which has made the workshop possible and successful. China will stay in touch and work together with all parties on related issues, to achieve the success of the Seventh Review Conference.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.