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Statement by Permanent Representative of China to the UN Ambassador Wang Guangya at the UN Conference to Review Progress Made in the Implementation of the Program of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in SALW in All Its Aspects


Mr. President,

At the outset, I wish to congratulate you on your election as President of this Review Conference. I believe that with your rich experience and great talent, you will surely guide this conference to a success. The Chinese delegation looks forward to fully cooperating with you and other delegations.

Mr. President,

Five years ago, we gathered here for a UN Conference on the Illicit Trade in SALW in All Its Aspects, which turned out to be a great success. It is at that conference that a milestone Program of Action was adopted. Since then, the international community has been committed to the implementation of the PoA and achieved a series of positive progress registered.

First, through setting up national point of contact, putting in place domestic legislations and submitting national reports and etc., countries have enhanced their institution and capacity building.

Second, regional and sub-regional initiatives and arrangements have been developed, and coordination and cooperation at the regional level are gaining momentum.

And third, the international efforts to combat the illicit trade in SALW have been intensified, as evidenced by the two successful Biennial Meetings, the timely conclusion of the International Instrument on marking and Tracing of Illicit SALW and the smooth proceeding of the informal consultations in the General Assembly on the illicit brokering.

However, we should not lose sight of the fact that the implementation of the PoA is an arduous task. The illicit trade and excessive accumulation in SALW have not been fundamentally curbed, and problems are still very salient in some countries and regions. The domestic legislations need to be improved, loopholes still exist in terms of management, and law enforcement is yet to be strengthened in a number of countries. Many war-stricken countries are far short of necessary resources and financial input. And there is still potential to be tapped in areas like information exchange and law enforcement cooperation among states.

Mr. President,

Comprehensively and effectively implementing the PoA and the constant advancement of the multilateral process in combating illicit SALW are of great significance to regional stability, economic development and building of a harmonious world of lasting peace. To that end, the international community should join hands in the following areas:

Firstly, states should bear the primary responsibility, striving to translate commitments into actions. Efforts should be made to establish and improve the legal system, and strengthen law enforcement in combating illicit manufacturing and transaction in SALW. Stockpile management should be tightened up and efforts to confiscate and destroy illicit SALW be intensified. Measures should be taken to enhance the export license and end-user certificate systems so as to effectively prevent SALW legally manufactured and transferred from ending up in the illegal channels.

Secondly, the follow-up of the PoA should be implemented on a gradual and smooth basis. The provisions and stipulations contained in the International Instrument to Enable States to Identify and Trace, in a Timely and Reliable Manner, Illicit Small Arms and Light Weapons should be implemented in good earnest. The follow-up actions recommended in the Report of the Open-ended Working Group to Negotiate an International Instrument to Enable States to Identify and Trace, in a Timely and Reliable Manner, Illicit SALW should be carried out in due course. And the work of UN group of governmental experts on combating the illicit brokering should be initiated in a timely fashion.

Thirdly, international assistance and cooperation should be enhanced. The UN should play a leading role to promote national and regional endeavors. Coordination and cooperation among law enforcement agencies such as the police and customs should be strengthened. Different regions are encouraged, in view of their prominent problems and challenges, to map out their cooperation priorities and adopt necessary coordinated approaches. And developed countries should make use of their advantages in personnel and resources to provide assistance and cooperation to developing countries in terms of institution and capacity building, training, confiscation and destruction of illicit SALW, etc.

Fourthly, a comprehensive approach should be adopted to address both the symptoms and underlying causes. Poverty and social instability constitute a breeding ground of the illicit SALW. The international community should take effective measures to help countries concerned to eradicate poverty and achieve economic development, so as to create favorable conditions for fundamentally resolving the issue of the illicit trade in SALW.

Mr. President,

The Chinese Government, taking "people foremost" as its governing tenet, is committed to the fight against the illicit trade in SALW, and has earnestly implemented the PoA.

In the legislative field, China has been constantly developing and improving its laws and regulations. It has promulgated the Law of the People's Republic of China on the Control of Firearms, the Regulations of the People's Republic of China on the Administration of Arms Export, Arms Export Control List, and has adopted a wide range of export control measures consistent with international practices including the export licensing and end-user certificate systems.

As to law enforcement, in recent years, China has actively launched special campaigns to strengthen the regulation of firearms manufacturing, crack down on illicit manufacturing, transportation and trade of firearms, and to confiscate illicit firearms. As the result, the crime rate involving firearms has been decreasing. The Chinese Government has also taken effective measures to ensure full implementation of the arms embargo resolutions adopted by the UN Security Council.

As to management, the Chinese Government strictly carries out administration according to its laws and regulations on manufacturing, stockpiling, use, transportation, trade and confiscation of SALW, and standardizes the administrative examination and approval procedures. The "Database for Firearms Regulation" developed by China's law enforcement authorities is taking shape. Efforts to revise the marking system for SALW and developing anti-counterfeiting techniques are well under way. And the record-keeping system for the manufacturing, possession and transfer of SALW is now ready for nation-wide application.

As to international exchange and cooperation, China has submitted its national reports on the implementation of the PoA in time. China's police, customs and other relevant agencies have kept regular contacts with other countries and relevant regional or international organizations, and have provided them with necessary assistance and cooperation. In 2005, the Chinese Government, in cooperation with the United Nations, the Japanese Government and the Swiss Governments, successfully held an international workshop on SALW in Beijing.

Mr. President,

The Conference is an important opportunity to further promote the international efforts in combating the illicit trade in SALW. The final document to be adopted at this Conference will not only be conducive to forging further consensus, but also produce positive impact on the future implementation of the PoA and relevant international efforts. We hope that all countries will engage in relevant consultations in a pragmatic and cooperative spirit, with a view to adopting the final document by consensus at this conference.

The Chinese delegation attaches great importance to this Conference. We are ready to work with all parties to review in a comprehensive manner the implementation of the PoA in accordance with the given mandate, identify priorities of the future work on the basis of summing up experiences and lessons learned, and make unremitting efforts for the early eradication of the illicit trade in SALW.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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