At the outset, my delegation would like to express its appreciation for the tireless efforts made and progressive work done by the United Nations in the field of international mine action, which has, to greater extent resolved the humanitarian concerns caused by landmines in mine-affected countries and regions in recent years.
The Chinese government, pursuing the people-oriented policy, attaches great importance to the humanitarian concerns caused by landmines and is supportive to relevant international legal framework and efforts. As a State Party to the Amended Protocol II of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, China implements APII faithfully and fulfills its obligations. China actively takes part in the work of the Group of Governmental Experts under the APII framework and submits annually national report to the meeting of High Contracting Parties accordingly.
China appreciates the humanitarian spirit enshrined in the Ottawa Convention, endorses the purpose and objective of the Convention and maintains communications and exchanges with State Parties to the Convention. China supports the resolution entitled "Implementation of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction" at the First Committee of the UN General Assembly, and attends relevant meetings of the Convention as an observer. China also established contacts and exchanges with many NGOs in the field of international mine action.
In many countries and regions suffered from wars or armed conflicts, landmine will poses serious threat to civilian lives and properties and hinders economic development and social rehabilitation. China is of the view that it remains an important task before us to strengthen international assistance and cooperation and to push forward international mine action.
China upholds that the cooperation on international mine action should take into consideration the following principles: Firstly, taking into full consideration the specific national conditions and requirements of the recipients, thus demining assistance could play their role to the largest extent. Secondly, enhancing capacity building in mine-affected countries, so that mine action plans would be supported mainly by their own capacity instead of external assistance and sustainable development of mine action could be achieved. Thirdly, exploring new approaches of international cooperation on mine action, so that the effectiveness of international demining cooperation would be guaranteed.
As a former mine-affected country, china fully understands the concerns and fully shares the feelings of other mine-affected countries. Proceeding from international humanitarianism, china actively participates in international demining assistance and provides due help to relevant countries for their mine action. Since 1998 China has established a long-term and systematic programme of international demining assistance. In past ten odd years, China has provided demining assistance to more than 20 countries from regions of Asia, Africa and Latin America, strongly supporting their mine action in various forms including financial donation, providing demining equipment and hosting demining training courses.
In 2008, the Chinese government held a demining training course for 20 personnel from Sudan and donated some demining equipment. Currently, a humanitarian demining training course is undergoing in Nanjing, China for Afghanistan and Iraq, in which 38 demining personnel from these two countries participated. In addition, china will donate sets of demining equipment to them after the training course.
China takes note with great concern of the landmine challenge faced with Sri Lanka, in which landmines bring major difficulty to the resettlement of its Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), and to its economic and social rehabilitation. China positively responds to the call for international demining assistance issues by UN Secretary-General and the Sri Lanka government in their joint statement, and actively supports the demining efforts by the Sri Lanka government. We have decided to provide demining assistance to Sri Lanka at an earliest possible date.
Practice has proven that Chinese demining techniques are safe and reliable and its demining equipment is cost-effective and efficient. The unremitting efforts of China in support of international mine action have gained highly appreciation from the recipients and relevant international organizations. China will continue to cooperate closely with all parties and make new contributions to resolving the humanitarian concerns caused by landmines.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.