|Statement by H.E. Ambassador CHENG Jingye Head of the Chinese Delegation at the Thirteenth Session of the Group of Governmental Experts of the States Parties to The Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons
First of all, please allow me, on behalf of the Chinese delegation, to congratulate you on your election to the chairmanship of the Meeting of the Group of Governmental Experts. Our congratulations also go to Ambassador Borisovas and Ambassador Rocha Paranhos for their assumption as coordinators on Explosive Remnants of War and Anti-Vehicle Landmines respectively. You and the coordinators can rest assured of the full support and cooperation from the Chinese delegation. My delegation would also like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude for the arduous work carried out by your predecessor, Ambassador Markotić, and the two former coordinators, Ambassador Prasad and Ambassador Reimaa. After hearing the shocking news of the unfortunate death of Mr.Edward R. Cummings, former head of the US delegation, several days ago, I would like to, on behalf of the Chinese Delegation and through the US Delegation, extend our deep condolences to his family and the US Government.
This year is important for the CCW process. The work of the Governmental Experts Group has entered its fifth year, and the 3rd Review Conference will be held at the end of this year. We are pleased to note that the momentum of the CCW process has been maintained and further enhanced. With our concerted efforts, the purposes and objectives of the Convention have been more and more widely recognized by the international community, and its universality and effectiveness further strengthened. More states have ratified the ERW Protocol, leading to the expectation for this protocol's entry into force in the near future. Considerations on issues such as AVL, ERW and compliance have also achieved further progress.
However, at the same time, we are conscious of the difficulties and challenges confronting our current work. Due to different security environments of various regions and countries in reality, and the economic and technological gaps among different countries, there are still divergent views on some important issues. We need to address these issues in an appropriate manner, with pragmatic approaches, in the spirit of seeking common ground while reserving differences, and on the basis of consensus.
Anti-Vehicle Landmines (AVL)
Over the past year, the GGE has conducted intensive work on the issue of AVL. Progress has been achieved in this regard and consensus is emerging in various aspects. Nevertheless, there are still divergences, to some extent quite sharp ones, in such key areas as detectability, self-destruction, self-neutralization, self-deactivation.
China always believes that the following principles should be observed in addressing the issue of AVL: Firstly, a proper balance should be stricken between the humanitarian concerns and the military and security needs of various countries. Secondly, difference among countries in terms of the economic affordability and technological capability should be taken into full account. Thirdly, the humanitarian concerns caused by AVL are by no means comparable with those caused by Anti-Personnel Landmines (APL) and therefore, solutions to AVL and APL should also be different. Fourthly, the solution should be realistic and feasible. There is no other way out except by following the aforementioned principles to genuinely and effectively address the humanitarian concerns caused by AVL. Any efforts to rush to the conclusion of solutions that are not universally applicable or impose specific technical parameters on other countries while ignoring their reasonable concerns will be nothing constructive but cause adverse impact on the overall CCW process.
The mandate of the GGE of this year is basically the same with that of last year, which requests the GGE "to continue to consider all proposals on MOTAPM put forward since the establishment of the Group of Governmental Experts". We consider this mandate appropriate, reasonable, practical and realistic. It is not only the objective reflection of the present status of work carried out by the GGE on the AVL issue, but also the common understanding forged by all parties after careful consideration. The GGE should conduct its work strictly in accordance with this mandate.
China welcomes Ambassador Rocha Paranhos who will guide our work on this issue this year. We hope that Ambassador Rocha Paranhos, in undertaking his mandate, will take into full consideration all proposals put forward by various parties, including the Package Solution to the Issue of AVL proposed by China, which has fully demonstrated China's constructive and flexible attitude. China is ready to actively participate in the work as before.
As an important achievement of the work of the GGE, the ERW Protocol has prescribed general preventive measures to increase the reliability of ammunitions, which is conducive to addressing the humanitarian concerns caused by ammunitions, including sub-munitions. China is ready to work with all parties to promote the early entry-into-force of the Protocol and hence give full play of the due role of the Protocol.
China has submitted its responses concerning the application and implementation in China of the principles and rules of IHL relevant to the ERWs, and has taken note of the Report on States Parties' Responses to the Questionnaire, which will be carefully studied. China will continue to participate in the discussion on relevant issues within the mandate of the GGE.
The Chinese delegation appreciates the efforts undertaken by you and your predecessor in promoting the discussion on the issue of compliance with the Convention. China supports the South Africa's proposal on extending the compliance mechanism, namely, the mechanism of consultations, clarification and cooperation, in the Amended Protocol II to the whole Convention. China believes this is the most practical and feasible approach to address the issue of compliance. It is still immature to establish such compliance mechanisms as compliance committee or ad hoc committee of experts.
China supports the initiative to provide assistance for the least developed countries in participating relevant meetings and activities of the Convention, as it is conducive to realizing the purposes and objectives of the Convention and its annexed protocols as well as promoting their universality. China would like to further exchange views with other parties on details of the sponsorship programme.
Preparation for the 3rd Review Conference
Preparation for the 3rd Review Conference of the CCW is an import task for the current meeting. China attaches great importance to the Review Conference. We hope that States Parties will take the opportunity of the Review Conference and its preparatory process to further promote the implementation of the Convention and its annexed protocols and increase their universality, so as to make greater contributions to the fulfillment of the purposes and objectives of the Convention.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.