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Statement by H.E. Ambassador CHENG Jingye, Head of the Chinese Delegation, at the Third Review Conference of the States Parties to The Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons
2006/11/07

Mr. President,

At the outset, please allow me, on behalf of the Chinese delegation, to congratulate you on your election to the Presidency of the Review Conference. I would also like to express our appreciation for your efforts in guiding the preparatory process of this Conference. I believe, with your talents and wisdom, and the cooperation of all delegations, this Conference will achieve positive outcomes.

Mr. President,

In the current complicated and evolving international security situation, the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) has become a major limelight in the field of international arms control and disarmament, and has received increasing attention from the international community. The CCW process has achieved constant progress and maintained strong vitality.

Since the last Review Conference, remarkable achievements have been made in the framework of the CCW. First, the universality of the Convention has been continuously improved. The number of the States Parties to the Convention has reached one hundred. Second, the scope of application of the Convention and its protocols has been extended from international armed conflicts to non-international armed conflicts. Thus the humanitarian rules of the Convention will be more widely observed. Third, with the conclusion and the coming entry-into-force of the Protocol on Explosive Remnants of War (ERW), the Convention has been further enriched and developed. Fourth, the Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) has carried out efficient work and held in-depth considerations on such important issues as anti-vehicle landmines (AVL), compliance mechanism, and sponsorship programme, which has further identified the positions and proposals of various parties. There appears great possibility of reaching agreement on certain issues. We should, on the basis of the above-mentioned progress, continue to dedicate our efforts to promoting sustained development of the CCW process, with a view to realizing the purposes and objectives of the Convention at an early date.

Looking ahead, China believes that the current priority is to further promote the universality and effectiveness of the Convention. The numbers of Signatories and States Parties to the Convention and its annexed protocols are still not comparable to such treaties as Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) and Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). The majority of the States Parties have not yet ratified the amendment to Article I of the Convention. This Review Conference will adopt a plan of action to promote the universality of the Convention. China hopes this will provide an opportunity to appeal more states to join the Convention and its annexed protocols and to ensure their effective implementation.

China is a State Party to the Convention and its annexed Protocols I, II, III and IV. It has ratified the amendment to Article I of the Convention, and is actively preparing for the ratification of Protocol V on ERW. China supports the purposes and objectives of the Convention. It has been earnestly fulfilling its obligations under the Convention and its annexed protocols, and has actively participated in international cooperation in the CCW framework. China has attended the meetings of the States Parties to the Convention and the GGE meetings in a constructive manner, and has put forward many reasonable proposals and views, making its due contributions to the CCW process.

Mr. President,

Now I would like to elaborate on China's positions on several issues under review by this Conference.

On the issue of ERW. China attaches great importance to the humanitarian concerns caused by ERW, and welcomes the entry-into-force of Protocol V on ERW during the Review Conference. The conclusion and entry-into-force of this Protocol represents a significant contribution to the international arms control and humanitarian causes. Earnest implementation by all parties of the provisions set out by the Protocol, including the generic preventive measures, will help resolve the ERW problem which has been haunting mankind for long. China has been carrying out, in an orderly manner, preparations for implementation of this Protocol, and will continue to promote domestic ratification process.

On the issue of AVL. Considerations on this issue have been going on for 5 years in the GGE and considerable progress has been achieved. Despite the existing divergent views on certain aspects, we share the common expectation of seeking a proper solution to the AVL issue. At this stage, we should particularly respect and accommodate each other's concerns, and commit ourselves to achieving a solution acceptable to all parties through consensus.

China would like to reiterate that, to properly handle the AVL issue, it is crucial to insist on the following principles: Firstly, the military security needs and humanitarian concerns should be addressed in a balanced manner. Secondly, the economic and technological capabilities of different countries should be fully taken into consideration. Thirdly, as the military values and humanitarian concerns of APL and AVL are different, different approaches should be adopted in dealing with these two types of landmines. Fourthly, relevant solutions should be realistic and feasible. Fifthly, any artificial and unrealistic deadline for reaching a solution to this issue should be avoided.

Last year, China proposed a package solution to the issue of AVL. The AVL coordinators and other countries have also put forward various proposals. China is ready to work with other parties, on the basis of the work of the GGE over the past 5 years, to seek a realistic, balanced, and feasible solution.

On the issue of compliance. China supports the proposal of adopting the same compliance mechanism of the amended Protocol II for the entire Convention. This is the most realistic and feasible way. China appreciates the unremitting efforts by the President in this regard. China is ready to continue to participate in relevant discussions with a constructive attitude.

On the issue of sponsorship programme. China supports the initiative of establishing a sponsorship programme under the Convention. This will be helpful to enhancing the influence of the Convention and promoting the universality and implementation of the Convention and its annexed protocols. China will positively consider making its contribution to implementation of this programme within its capacity.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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