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Statement by H.E. Ambassador Wu Haitao, at the Eighth Conference of the High Contracting Parties to Protocol V on Explosive Remnants of War

Madame President,

Firstly, the Chinese delegation would like to congratulate you on your assumption of the chair of the Conference. We will fully cooperate with you and other delegations for the success of the Conference.

Madame President,

Protocol V is an important international mechanism for addressing the humanitarian concerns caused by explosive remnants of war (ERWs). Since the entry into force of the Protocol in 2006, we have witnessed further strengthening of its universality, national implementation and relevant international cooperation, as well as tangible progress in victim assistance. The Protocol has accommodated military security requirement of states parties and humanitarian concerns in a balanced manner, and has enhanced the effectiveness of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) in addressing relevant humanitarian concerns in the framework of the Convention.

The Chinese Government has always attached great importance to the humanitarian concerns caused by ERWs. Since its ratification of Protocol V in 2010, China has made unremitting efforts to strengthen its implementation capacity, faithfully implement provisions of the Protocol, and actively participate in relevant international assistance and cooperation.

China gives high priority to ERWs clearance and destruction. Over the past year, the Chinese Military and the Public Security authority carried out clearance and destruction of ERWs and other explosives as planned, including over 120,000 pieces of ERWs of various types. China has established a comprehensive management system on explosives, and put in place measures such as licensing, control by degree of danger, lifecycle monitoring, risk assessment and accountability. The Chinese Public Security authority has established an information management system on explosives for civilian use, putting in place strict lifecycle registration of and supervision over their production, storage, shipment, transfer and use. These measures are effective in preventing illegal diversion of explosives, and thus contributing to the protection of life and property of the people as well as regional peace and stability.

As a victim of ERWs, China fully understands the challenges encountered by other victim countries and supports international cooperation and assistance in this regard. Since 2010, as part of its annual international humanitarian demining assistance program, China has provided medical supplies to ERW and mine victims in Peru, Ethiopia, the Laos, Lebanon, Sri Lanka and Jordan, and carried out relevant international assistance and cooperation in clearing mines, cluster munitions and other ERWs.

There are still dozens of countries affected by ERWs. It might take decades or even longer to clear all ERWs scattered on the territory of some heavily contaminated countries. China always believes that the principle of "the user to clear" should be established by the international community. Countries that left behind ERWs in other countries should take primary responsibility for their clearance by providing necessary funding and technology, so as to rid the victim countries of the nightmare of ERWs at an early date.

Madame President,

The humanitarian concerns caused by ERWs can only be resolved through long-term and concerted efforts by the international community. China will continue to work closely with all parties for the universality and effective implementation of Protocol V, so as to contribute to addressing the humanitarian concerns caused by ERWs.

Thank you, Madame President.

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