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Statement by Ambassador WU Haitao at the High-level Open Debate of the Security Council Debate on "Preventing Catastrophe: A Global Agenda for Stopping the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction by non-State Actors"


At the outset, I would like to thank the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Spain, Mr. Alfonso Dastis Quecedo, for presiding over today’s open debate. I also thank Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson, Mr. Kim Won-soo, High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, and the two other for their respective briefings.

Efforts to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) and impede the acquisition of WMDs and related materials and technologies by non-State actors and especially terrorists are conducive to the maintenance of international and regional peace and security, and are therefore consistent with the common interests of the international community. China wishes to put forward the following proposals.

First, address both the symptoms and the root causes to eradicate the proliferation issue. All countries should foster a new concept of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, abide by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, build a security pattern featuring fairness, justice, joint participation and shared benefits, and thereby root out the threat of proliferation.

Secondly, uphold multilateral mechanisms and consolidate and develop the international non-proliferation regime. All countries should uphold multilateralism and the principle of consensus. We need to keep alive the pillar role played by the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction. We should maintain the authority and effectiveness of the international non-proliferation regime and avoid double-standards.

Thirdly, strike a balance between security and development and push for solution to non-proliferation issues. The relationship between non-proliferation and peaceful use should be properly handled, in order to ensure the right of all countries, especially developing countries, to use and share relevant science and technology in a peaceful manner. Efforts also need to be made to prevent any country from attempting to undertake proliferation activities on the pretext of peaceful use.

Fourthly, strengthen international cooperation to form synergy in addressing new challenges. We should resolve regional hotspot proliferation issues peacefully through political and diplomatic means. There is a need to establish sound international norms on non-proliferation to prevent the WMDs and related materials and technologies from falling into the hands of non-State actors, especially terrorists.

Resolution 1540 (2004), which has consolidated the consensus of all countries on non-proliferation, facilitated international non-proliferation cooperation and contributed to preventing non-State actors from acquiring WMDs and related materials and technologies, is a significant milestone. China attaches great importance to its implementation and actively participates in the work of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004) and its Group of Experts.

Since the beginning of this year, the 1540 Committee has conducted a comprehensive review of the implementation of the resolution by States and the work of the Committee over the past five years and has analysed the progress and shortcomings in the implementation of the resolution and made recommendations on the way forward. China has responsibly and constructively participated in consultations on the draft resolution voted on earlier and the comprehensive review, joined the consensus on the comprehensive review, and co-sponsored and voted in favour of the draft resolution.

Resolution 2325 (2016), which was adopted unanimously today, and the comprehensive review will help move forward the international non-proliferation process. China wishes to make the following proposals on strengthening the follow-up implementation of the resolution and on improving the work of the 1540 Committee.

First, we must strictly abide by the mandate of the resolution and based on the main purpose to prevent non-state actors from engaging in proliferation activities, ensure the primary role of states in non-proliferation efforts and maintain the Committee’s facilitating and coordinating role in the implementation of the resolution.

Secondly, we must enhance the relevance and effectiveness of assistance program to focus on meeting the assistance needs of developing countries. A combination of multiple measures is needed to assist developing countries with their consent in strengthening their capacity-building for the implementation of the resolution.

Thirdly, all countries need to take effective and viable measures tailored to their different national conditions and political systems to effectively strengthen the implementation of the resolution and carry out exchanges and cooperation in this regard.

Fourthly, we need to keep to the right direction of the 1540 Committee mechanism’s future development, further improve the efficiency of its work, maintain its cooperative nature to promote the non-proliferation efforts of States, and avoid transferring it into a non-proliferation-related investigative mechanism or an export-control mechanism.

China firmly opposes to the proliferation of WMDs and their means of delivery and firmly opposes to the acquisition and use of WMDs and related materials and technologies by non-State actors, especially terrorists. We strictly abide by our international non-proliferation obligations, take an active part in international and regional non-proliferation cooperation and is committed to facilitating political resolution of hotspot proliferation issues.

China supports the United Nations in playing its due role in the area of non-proliferation. China will continue to work with the international community to make positive contributions to the promotion of international non-proliferation efforts and to the maintenance of international peace and security.

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