At the outset, please allow me on behalf of the Chinese delegation to congratulate you on your assumption of the presidency of this Conference. I believe your rich experience in diplomacy and arms control will surely lead this Conference to a positive result. This delegation will fully support your work.
Since its entry into force, the BWC has played an irreplaceable role in the prohibition and complete destruction of biological weapons and prevention of their proliferation. In the new situation, it remains an important common historical mission to strengthen the authority, universality and effectiveness of the Convention, bring forward the biological arms control and disarmament process, and prevent and address bio-threat through multilateral efforts.
According to the agreed agenda, this Conference should review the implementation of the BWC in the past five years and outline follow-up actions to strengthen the effectiveness of the Convention under the multilateral framework. Now I would like to elaborate on the agenda items of this Conference.
The implementation of the Convention has been generally smooth in the past five years. Six countries have acceded to or ratified the Convention, which further enhances its universality. Implementation of the major articles of the Convention has been smooth in general. Some improvements in the submission of CBMs has been registered.
In the past three years, States Parties made full use of the meetings of States Parties and Experts, and explored specific measures to improve implementation and strengthen the effectiveness of the Convention. Consensus was reached on certain problems. The meetings of States Parties and Experts serve as proactive exploration for pushing forward the multilateral biological arms control and disarmament and non-proliferation process in the new situation and provide guidance and useful experience for the development of this multilateral BWC process.
Conducting CBMs is an important dimension of States Parties' implementation of the Convention. At present, the participation rate in CBMs submission is still very low. We would like to call upon more States Parties to submit their CBMs voluntarily and timely. China will actively engage in discussions on how to improve measures on CBMs.
It is the basic obligation for States Parties to put legislation in place covering all prohibition provisions of the Convention. At the Meeting of States Parties in 2003, all parties agreed that a State Party should review, promulgate and improve its national legislation. States Parties agreed to adopt comprehensive and specific national measures and provide international legal and technical assistance among themselves to enhance couter-bioterrorism capability and promote bio-safety. The Chinese side hopes the above-mentioned consensus can provide reference and guidance of action for the relevant work of each State Party.
In recent years, biotechnology has been playing an ever-increasing important role in improving mankind health and the environment. However, the potential danger of abusing and misuse of it is also on the rise. While enjoying the achievement in the development of biotechnology, it has become a common challenge confronted by the international community as how to strictly and comprehensively implement the Convention and prevent biological weapon threat. China has fully elaborated its standpoints in this regard in its national report.
Promotion of international exchanges and cooperation in the peaceful uses of biotechnology remains one of the objectives of the Convention. It should go in parallel with bio-arms control and non-proliferation and prevention of bio-terrorism. China calls upon all parties concerned to attach greater importance to it, explore and adopt practical plan, intensify input and enable States Parties, especially developing countries, to truly get benefit from related international cooperation and materialize their legitimate rights enshrined by the Convention, so as to get the Convention implemented in a real comprehensive manner.
China supports the objectives and purposes of the Convention. China has always advocated thorough prohibition and complete destruction of biological weapons and is firmly opposed to their proliferation. China has never assisted, encouraged and induced any state, group of states or international organizations to manufacture or otherwise acquire items for biological weapon purpose, ensuring its comprehensive and effective implementation with adequate legal and financial support. China has, keeping in line with such international common practices as licensing and list-control, promulgated and strictly enforced the export control regulations for dual-use biological items and technologies with a view to preventing such items and technologies to be diverted for purposes prohibited by the Convention.
China collects and submits its CBMs data in an earnest manner. Since 1988, China has been submitting its CBMs data on the implementation of the Convention to the UN annually and timely.
China attaches great importance to and takes active part in the international cooperation in the biological scientific field, and has conducted extensive and useful cooperation and exchanges with many countries and international organizations like the WHO in public health, monitoring and prevention of infectious animal and plant diseases.
In this new security situation, the Convention should and can play a greater role in effectively addressing biological weapons and bio-terrorist threat as well as promoting peace and development. China would like to work with other parties to achieve positive results in the multilateral process aimed at strengthening the effectiveness of the Convention in an open, practical and cooperative spirit.
Thank you, Mr. President.