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Statement by Mr. Kang Yong, Representative of Chinese Delegation at the Thematic Debate on Conventional Weapons at the 63rd Session of the UNGA First Committee

(New York, 22 October 2008)

2008/10/22

Mr. Chairman,

The Chinese Government has been always firmly supporting and actively participating in the international conventional arms control process. China maintains the human-oriented concept and is dedicated to addressing the humanitarian concerns caused by conventional weapons. China stands for the continuous strengthening and improving of relevant mechanisms in the field of conventional arms control, considering the humanitarian concerns and the legitimate security needs in a balanced way, so as to enhance international peace and security.

Mr. Chairman,

As an important international treaty in the field of conventional weapons, the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) has played an indispensable role in addressing the humanitarian concerns caused by certain conventional weapons such as landmines. China has consistently attached importance to and supported the work of CCW and earnestly fulfills its obligations under CCW and its protocols. China is dedicated to enhancing the effectiveness and universality of CCW. In 2008, China made donation to “Sponsorship Program” CCW again, to finance the least-developed countries to participate in the process of CCW.

China attaches importance to the humanitarian concerns related to cluster munitions and has been consistently supporting and participating in the efforts made by the international community in this regard. China participates in the work of the Group of Governmental Experts on the Cluster Munitions of CCW with a positive and constructive attitude, and makes its own contribution to it. China will continue to make joint efforts with all the parities concerned to explore a feasible and practical solution to address the issues related to cluster munitions on the basis of considering the countries’ military needs and humanitarian concerns in a balanced way.

China has actively participated in the international de-mining assistance actions, and offered assistance within China’s own capabilities to those countries suffered from landmines. Thus far, Chinese Government has provided de-mining assistance to more than 10 countries in Asia and Africa in various ways, including financial donations, providing de-mining equipment and personnel training. From April to May 2008, Chinese Government hosted a de-mining training course in Nanjing, JiangSu Province, for the personnel from both North and South of Sudan, and donated a batch of de-mining equipment to it. China also provided financial donation to Peru, Ecuador, Ethiopia, and donated a batch of de-mining equipment to Egypt.

Mr. Chairman,

China attaches great importance to combating the illicit trade of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW), and actively participated in and supported the related international efforts. China believes that, the urgent matter of combating the illicit trade of SALW is the capacity building of all countries and the comprehensive and effective implementation of existing international instruments such as the UN Programme of Action (PoA) on SALW and the International Instrument to Enable States to Identify and Trace, in a Timely and Reliable Manner, Illicit Small Arms and Light Weapons. China welcomes the successful outcome of the UN Third Biennial Meeting on the implementation of PoA and the report concluded by the UN Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) on conventional ammunition stockpiles in surplus. China is willing to enhance the communication and cooperation with all parties to eliminate the harm caused by the illicit trade of SALW at an early time.

Mr. Chairman,

China takes a prudent and responsible approach towards arms export, and has strict control on arms exports in accordance with its international obligations and national laws and regulations. The Chinese government attaches great importance to the regional instability and humanitarian crisis fuelled by illicit trafficking of small arms and light weapons. China is of the view that it is necessary for the international community to take measures to regulate international arms trade and prevent arms from being transferred from legal channels to illegal markets. On the other hand, We believe that arms trade is a very complex issue, the international community should carry out an open and transparent discussions in a step by step manner within the framework of the UN. China actively participates in the work of GGE on “ATT” issue and welcomes its report. The follow-up discussion on this issue within the UN framework should be based on the conclusion of the GGE report. The outcome of the discussion shouldn’t be prejudged and should be reached by consensus. China is ready to make joint efforts with all parties to properly address the issue of illegal trade of conventional arms.

Mr. Chairman,

Chinese Government has been always attaching great importance to the issue of military transparency and is willing to consistently enhance the transparency according to its own conditions. This year, China submits its report to UN on its military expenditures for the second time. Except the basic data of the military expenditure of 2007, China also illuminated the main purposes of these expenditures, which providing more information than last year. This shows again that the Chinese Government is dedicated to enhancing its military transparency and actively promoting the mutual trust in the security field with all countries.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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