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Statement by H. E. Mr. Cheng Jingye Ambassador for Disarmament Affairs of China at the Plenary of the Conference on Disarmament

Madam President,

At the outset, the Chinese delegation would like to congratulate you on your assumption of the CD presidency. We believe that under your able guidance, the Conference will have a good beginning. You can count on the support of this delegation. We would also like to express our appreciations for the current P6's efforts to facilitate the work of the Conference.

Madam President,

The schedule of activities for last year's CD was innovative, under which constructive discussions on all agenda items had been undertaken. Undoubtedly, these discussions played a positive role in promoting the CD's work.

As a Chinese old saying goes, "constant review makes constant renewal", which means if we constantly draw lessons from the past, we would gain more fruits in the future. In our view, the smooth conduct of last year's discussions in the CD largely benefited from the fact that the all of us, to quote the former UN Secretary General Mr. Kofi Annan, "made particular efforts to reflect the security concerns of all states".

Madam President,

We welcome the introduction, you made just now, to the organizational framework for this year's CD session. Here, I'd like to recall that the distinguished Ambassador of Poland Mr. RAPACKI, in explaining last year's P6 initiative, pointed out that the aim of the initiative was to "bring us closer to achieving consensus on the programme of work". The Chinese delegation believes that this year's arrangement is too based on the same consideration.

In this connection, I'd like to refer to the message from the new UN Secretary General Mr. Ban Ki-moon, in which he stresses the importance of nuclear disarmament, FMCT, PAROS and NSA, and "looks to the Conference on Disarmament to lead progress on all these fronts". The Chinese delegation fully shares his expectation.

In your statement just now, you also elaborated the assignments of the "coordinators". We would like to extend our appreciations to those ambassadors who bear heavy responsibility of chairing discussions on respective agenda items. We hope that, under the auspices of P-6 and with the assistance of coordinators, the member states could come to a conclusion on how to advance the future work of the Conference.

Madam President,

A couple of days ago, I read an article in a major western newspaper, in which the author told us a story. A Hollywood mogul negotiated with Bernard Shaw to buy the movie rights to one of his theatre works. After some time, Shaw told the studio boss, "Sir, I'm afraid there can be no commerce between us, since you seem to want to talk only about art and I only about money."

I don't know whether they made the deal or not in the end. Nevertheless, I consider the story definitely enlightening for us in the CD. The progress of the CD hinges on our concerted efforts. In other words, in order to move forward our work in the CD, all member states should demonstrate their flexibility and take others' concerns into due considerations. This is the only way to narrow down our differences, thus ultimately breaking the deadlock on the programme of work. It is our sincere hope that the forthcoming discussions, building on our efforts of last year, would contribute to achieving this goal at an early date.

The Chinese delegation is ready to work continuously with all other parties with a view to reaching an agreement on the early commencement of substantive work on all relevant agenda items.

Thank you, Madame President.

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