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Statement by H.E. Ambassador Wu Haitao, Permanent Representative of China to the Conference on Disarmament, on FMCT
2012/05/31
                                                                                           (31 May, 2012, Geneva)

 

 Mr. President,

Let me begin by welcoming you back to the CD family and allow me to congratulate you on your assumption of the Presidency of the Conference. I believe that with your rich diplomatic experience and wisdom, you will surely guide the Conference forward. The Chinese delegation will fully support your work to this end. I would also like to take this opportunity to extend our appreciation for your predecessor, Ambassador Getahun's efforts.

Mr. President,

To negotiate and conclude FMCT is one of the priorities on the agenda of the CD and in the international arms control process. The conclusion of such a treaty, which will ban the production of fissile material for use in nuclear weapon or other nuclear explosive devices, will contribute to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. It is an important step towards the goal of complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons.

China always supports the CD to negotiate and conclude at an early date a multilateral, non-discriminatory and internationally and effectively verifiable FMCT. China supported Resolution A/48/75L on FMCT adopted by the 48th UN General Assembly in 1993, as well as the relevant resolutions adopted by following sessions of the UNGA. China also supported decisions made by the CD on the mandate and establishment of subsidiary bodies to negotiate FMCT over the years. According to the Action Plan in the Final Document of the 2010 NPT Review Conference, the CD should, "within the context of an agreed, comprehensive and balanced Programme of Work, immediately begin negotiation of a treaty banning the production of fissile material for use in nuclear weapon or other nuclear explosive devices in accordance with the Report of the Special Coordinator of 1995(CD/1299) and the mandate contained therein". Earnest implementation of this Action Plan is of great importance in achieving the purposes and objectives of the NPT.

Mr. President,

The CD is yet to start negotiations on all core issues on its agenda, including the negotiation of FMCT. Member states have been engaged in heated discussions on how to promote such work and have put forward various ideas and proposals. Frankly speaking, there are still divergent views on some issues. However, I believe that most of us in this Chamber still regard the CD as the most appropriate venue for the negotiation of the treaty.

China remains confident in launching negotiation of FMCT in the CD. I would like to take this opportunity to share some of our views on how to promote such negotiation in the current situation.

Firstly, advance the work of the CD in a comprehensive manner.

FMCT is an important agenda item in the CD, but not the only one. In fact, there are different opinions among member states on the priorities of the international arms control and disarmament agenda, as well as on the priorities of the CD agenda. The four core issues on the agenda of the CD, namely nuclear disarmament, FMCT, PAROS and NSA, are all of great significance for promoting international nuclear disarmament process. The only way to create favorable environment for the start of negotiation of FMCT in the CD is to attach due importance to and accommodate each other's concerns to promote the work of all agenda items in a comprehensive manner, on the basis of consensus and in a spirit of mutual respect, equality and coordination.

Secondly, pursue negotiation of FMCT in the CD.

As the single multilateral disarmament negotiating forum established by SSOD I, the CD had successfully negotiated a series of important arms control treaties, such as Chemical Weapons Convention and Comprehensive Test-Ban Treaty. The universal participation of all the relevant parties is essential to the negotiation of multilateral arms control treaty. The current membership of the CD covers all the states which have great stakes and are of great significance in the future FMCT. The objectives of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation could only be truly realized by negotiating FMCT in the CD.

Over the past two days, the German and Dutch governments have organized a scientific experts meeting on FMCT. China noted that recently various attempts and efforts have been made to promote the negotiation of FMCT. In our view, such attempts and efforts should not substitute the negotiation of FMCT in the CD.

Thirdly, steadily carry out preparation for negotiation.

Various forms of discussion in the CD will contribute to the preparation for the future launching of formal negotiations. Member states should make full use of such opportunities to carry out in-depth discussions on issues related to the negotiation of FMCT to pave the ground for future work.

In recent years, several rounds of formal or informal discussions on FMCT have been conducted in the CD, which prove to be useful and productive. If further discussions can be carried out on the basis of the aforementioned work to reach agreement on such general issues as the basic structure, arrangement of key elements and the design of core articles of the treaty, member states will be able to identify the direction of future negotiations. It will also promote the discussion on specific issues and enhance mutual understanding and trust.

Fourthly, set reasonable and pragmatic goals for negotiation.

In 1995, the CD adopted the Shannon Mandate for the negotiation of FMCT as contained in the Report of the Special Coordinator (CD/1299) by consensus. This mandate is the outcome of tough negotiations and has fully taken into consideration concerns of all parties. It has been confirmed by the UNGA resolutions and the Action Plan adopted by the 2010 NPT Review Conference. China believes that, to smoothly launch the negotiation of FMCT, this mandate should be maintained.

It needs to be pointed out that, to achieve the goal of the treaty and enhance the cost-effectiveness of verification, the scope of fissile materials should be reasonably defined, so as to effectively ban the production of fissile material from the source, avoid undermining peaceful nuclear activities and reduce the burden of implementation. At the same time, the principle of reasonable, effective, and economically-affordable verification should be adopted.

Mr. President,

These are some of our preliminary views on how to promote the negotiation of FMCT in the current situation. We are interested in the views of other parties, and are ready to make further comments at appropriate time.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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