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Statement by the Chinese Delegation at the Ninth Conference of the High Contracting Parties to Protocol V on Explosive Remnants of War
2015/11/09

Mr. President,

The Chinese delegation would like to congratulate you on your election as the president of the Conference and pledge our full cooperation with you and other delegations to bring the meeting to a success.

Mr. President,

We are glad to note that since its entry into force, the universality of Protocol V has been increasing, the work of its implementation has been proceeding in depth, relevant international cooperation has been advancing steadily, and victim assistance has registered real progress. The Protocol has taken into account military requirements and humanitarian concerns of all countries in a balanced manner, and has enhanced the effectiveness of tackling relevant humanitarian concerns under the framework of the CCW. China is convinced that with the increasing number of High Contracting Parties, Protocol V will play an even more significant role in the field of humanitarian arms control.

Mr. President,

The Chinese government has always attached great importance to humanitarian concerns caused by the Explosive Remnants of War (ERW). China actively participated in relevant negotiations and played a constructive role in the conclusion of Protocol V. Since its ratification of the Protocol in 2010, China has faithfully fulfilled its obligations under the Protocol, has made enormous efforts to strengthen relevant mechanisms and has submitted our national annual reports on time.

China pays great attention to ERW clearance and destruction. In the past year, the Chinese Military and Public Security organs have continued as planned the clearance and destruction of ERWs such as abandoned and old artillery shells, and the Public Security organs have destroyed and handled over 35,000 pieces of ERWs of various types. China has established a comprehensive management system for explosives, and in accordance with law subjects explosives to control regimes such as the control of licenses, control according to categories, lifecycle monitoring, risk assessment and accountability. The Chinese Public Security authorities have set up an information system for explosives of civilian use, and have established strict registration of and supervision over all stages of the lifecycle, such as production, storage, transport, and transfer. These measures have effectively prevented the illegal outflow of explosives, thus making a positive contribution to the protection of people’s life and property as well as regional peace and stability.

As a victim of ERWs, China fully understands the challenges facing other ERW-affected countries, and supports active international cooperation and assistance in this regard. Since 2010, as part of the humanitarian demining assistance program, China has actively provided assistance to victims of landmine and cluster munitions. Up to now China has offered medical supplies to help victims in many countries such as Peru, Ethiopia, the Laos, Lebanon, Sri Lanka and Jordan. In the future, China will continue its efforts, within its capabilities, to participate in international cooperation and assistance, in a common endeavor to eliminate ERWs.

At present several dozens of countries are still faced with the threat of ERWs. At the current speed, it will take decades and even a century to clear all ERWs in the territories of some countries. In China, every year we still discover a large number of ammunitions of various types abandoned by foreign invaders, which constitute a grave threat to people’s life and property. China always maintains that the international community should establish the principle of “the user clears”. Countries that have left behind ERWs in other countries should shoulder their due historical responsibility to provide necessary financial resources and technology for clearance, so that the affected countries can be free from the scourge of ERWs at an early date.

Mr. President,

The problems of ERWs cannot be solved overnight and require long-term attention and unremitting efforts from all parties. China will participate more actively in all aspects of work relevant to the Protocol, and together with all parties continuously promote the implementation of Protocol V and increase its universality, in a tireless effort to resolve the humanitarian concerns caused by ERWs.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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