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Remarks by H.E.Mr.Zhang Yan, Director-General of Arms Control and Disarmament Dept. of MFA of China, at the Concluding Session of the UN Workshop on SALW in Beijing

2005/04/21

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The 3-day UN Workshop on SALW in Beijing is coming to an end. It is of special significance to hold this meeting at the crucial moment of the on-going negotiations of an international instrument on marking and tracing of SALW, and immediately ahead of the opening of the Biennial Meeting of States to Consider the Implementation of the Program of Action of the 2001 UN Conference on SALW (PoA). With the joint efforts of all participants, we have successfully concluded all agenda items of the workshop and achieved our objectives.

Over the past two days, delegates have actively participated in the work of the meeting and made valuable contributions. We have had in-depth discussions on ways to strengthen international and regional cooperation in meeting the challenges brought by the illicit trade in SALW. The workshop has achieved a series of positive results.

Delegates have identified and analyzed major challenges and problems in international and regional efforts to combat the illicit trade in SALW and further enhanced the sense of urgency to take specific and effective measures to address the SALW problem.

The workshop has reached further consensus on combat against the illicit trade in SALW. Participants in the workshop have sincerely felt the severe consequences of the illicit trade in SALW and clearly demonstrated their resolve to work together to contain the overflow of SALW.

Confronted with a new international situation with intertwined traditional and untraditional security threats, we all feel the indispensable role of the UN in addressing the problem of SALW. The UN should take the opportunity of the review mechanism of the PoA to promote the implementation of the PoA at international, regional and national levels. At the same time, negotiations of an international instrument on marking and tracing of SALW should be concluded as soon as possible and a Group of Governmental Experts on the issue of brokering should also be launched in due time.

The workshop has promoted exchanges and cooperation among participating parties. All participants, especially those from Central and Southeast Asian countries, have shared good practices and useful experiences on national legislation, marking, export control and stockpiles management. Such exchanges of views are necessary and helpful to effective combat against the illicit trade in SALW.

The workshop has put forward good suggestions and proposals to the international community on how to address the problem of SALW. We hope such suggestions and proposals will be carried out in the future.

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the founding of the UN. The initiative from the Chinese, Japanese, Swiss governments and the UN to co-sponsor this international meeting on SALW during this special year fully demonstrates our strong will and positive attitude. We believe that the success of this workshop will play a positive role in pushing forward the negotiations of an international instrument on marking and tracing of the illicit SALW, and will provide useful step stones for the coming Biennial Meeting of States.

I wish the international community would take the opportunity to constantly promote further progress in international and regional efforts in combating the illicit trade of SALW.

To conclude, as host of this workshop, please allow me to take this opportunity to express our appreciation for the participation and support of all the delegates, and our gratitude for the contribution and efforts of the UN Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Japanese and Swiss governments. I would also like to thank the working staff, interpreters and staff from the Tianlun Dynasty Hotel for their assistance.

Wish you a good journey.

Thank you.

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