At the outset, please allow me, on behalf of the Chinese delegation, to congratulate you on your assumption of the chairmanship of the 2013 Meetings of the Biological Weapons Convention. I believe that your rich diplomatic experience will lead this meeting of experts to achieve positive and beneficial results. The Chinese delegation will fully support your work.
With the rapid development of bioscience and biotechnology, non-traditional security threats such as bioterrorism and pandemic infectious diseases are increasingly prominent, which brings notable threat to human society. To continue improving the universality and effectiveness of the Convention, promoting the objectives of the Convention in a balanced manner, strengthening the role of the Convention in eliminating threats and preventing proliferation of biological weapons, as well as facilitating the peaceful use of biotechnology, are consistent with the common interests of States Parties.
I would like to take this opportunity to make a few points on specific agenda items of this meeting.
Ⅰ. International cooperation to promote peaceful use of biotechnology remains one of the prominent pillars of the Convention. It helps enhance the implementation capability of States Parties, and promote healthy and sustainable development of the Convention. China agrees that States Parties should actively implement Article Ⅹ of the Convention. The reasonable demands of the developing countries for bioscience and biotechnology information, materials and equipments should be taken into account, so as to enable the developing countries to truly benefit from international cooperation. China has conducted research cooperations, technological exchanges with and provided assistance to many countries, regions and international organizations in fields like infectious disease response and biosafety and biosecurity, which had been elaborated in the working papers submitted to the Seventh Review Conference and the 2012 Meeting of States Parties. China will continue such efforts.
Ⅱ. Comprehensive grasp of the new trend and tendency of the development in bioscience and biosecurity, timely assessment of their impacts on the Convention, as well as sharing experience and practices on biosafety and biosecurity management, are beneficial to the promotion of the effective implementation of the Convention. They also guarantee that bioscience and biotechnology could better benefit mankind, and all kinds of biosafety and biosecurity risks and threats could be effectively responded to. In this meeting, Chinese experts will introduce the efforts and experience of China so far this year in response to the epidemic of H7N9 Avian Influenza under relevant agenda items, and the Chinese delegation will submit a working paper in this regard. We hope the introduction could be conducive to States Parties in their responses to the epidemic of infectious diseases, and we also expect to hear from other States Parties about their practices in relevant fields.
Ⅲ. Measures to strengthen national implementation such as the establishment of national implementation mechanism, the promulgation of relevant laws and regulations, as well as the establishment of regulations on biosafety and biosecurity management, can be important guarantees to implement the Convention and improve its effectiveness. In recent years, States Parties have made constant efforts and improvements on this according to their national conditions. The Chinese delegation holds that States Parties should continue to be encouraged to strengthen national implementation on a voluntary basis, and in a progressive manner. Meanwhile, it should be noted that the best compliance mechanism under the Convention is to conclude a protocol with a verification regime to enhance the effectiveness of the Convention comprehensively.
Ⅳ. The Confidence-Building Measures(CBMs) are an important means for States Parties to enhance mutual trust. China attaches importance to the CBMs, and has submitted annual CBMs data in a timely manner. The Chinese delegation considers that the low rate of submission is the main challenge to CBMs mechanism. More States Parties should be encouraged to submit CBMs data. Meanwhile, it should be taken into account that the CBMs submission is not obligatory in nature, and States Parties are different in national conditions and capacity, thus necessary support and assistance should be provided to those in need.
The Chinese delegation is ready to engage in the meeting in a pragmatic and constructive manner, and participate in discussions on relevant agenda items of the meeting with States Parties, to achieve a successful Meeting of Experts through joint efforts.
Thank you, Madam Chair.