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Statement by the Chinese Observer Delegation at the 13th Meeting of the States Parties to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction

                                                                                                    (unofficial translation)

Mr. President,

First of all, on behalf of Chinese observer delegation, please allow me to congratulate your assumption of the presidency of the 13th Meeting of the States Parties to the Ottawa Convention. I believe, with your rich experience and outstanding skills, you will surely guide this meeting to a positive result. Chinese delegation will fully cooperate with you and other delegations.

Mr. President,

Since its entry into force, the Convention has played a positive role in addressing the humanitarian concerns caused by Anti-Personnel Landmines (APLs). The Chinese Government always attaches great importance to the humanitarian concerns caused by APLs, and supports the international efforts to address these concerns. China has not joined the Convention due to legitimate national defense necessities. However, China endorses its purposes and objectives, and appreciates the humanitarian spirit reflected therein. In recent years, China, as an observer state, participated in the meetings of the States Parties to the Convention and other relevant activities. Since 2005, China has voted for consecutive years in favor of the UNGA resolution on the implementation of the Ottawa Convention, which demonstrates our positive attitude towards the Convention.

As a High Contracting Party to the Amended Protocol on Landmines of CCW, China has always faithfully fulfilled its obligations under this protocol. China is and will continue to observer its commitment on not exporting APLs. Since 1990s, China has conducted several rounds of comprehensive and large-scale demining operations, which has to a great extent eliminated the scourge of landmines on our territories. Furthermore, China strengthened demining capacity-building and persevered an effective demining team composed of elite staff members, which constitute a firm basis for China's further contribution to international mine action. With regard to the research and development of demining technology, China also invested heavily and has already developed series of cost-effective demining technologies and equipments in line with International Mine Action Standards (IMAS). The studies on animal detection method and mechanical demining techniques have already made substantive progress.

China attaches importance to international exchange and cooperation on mine issues. Recently, the Special Envoy of the Ottawa Convention, H.H Prince Mired of Jordan visited China at the invitation of the Chinese government, and had in-depth exchange of views with Chinese officials on China's mine policies and practices. During his visit, he also observed the demining training courses designated for Lao PDR and exhibitions of Chinese demining technologies and equipments. We believe, this visit will enhance the understanding of the international community on China's policy on mines and its efforts on humanitarian demining assistance.

Mr. President,

Since 1998, China has actively participated in international humanitarian demining assistance. China has provided humanitarian demining assistance to nearly 40 developing countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America, which values more than 70 million RMB and more than 400 deminers have been trained. Such assistance includes donation of funds, provision of demining equipment, technical training program, direct demining operation, on-site demining guidance as well as victim assistance.

During the year of 2013, China has hosted demining training courses for Sudan, South Sudan and Lao PDR, and dispatched a team of experts to Cambodia for onsite training. In total, 110 deminers have been trained in these programs. China also provided those trainees with mine detectors, personal protective equipment and demining tool kit, so as to strengthen recipient countries' capacity building and increase their independent demining operation. In addition, China provided victim assistance to Lebanon and Lao PDR which valued 2.3 million RMB.

Mr. President,

To fully eliminate the risks of APLs and assist people in mine-affected countries and regions to reconstruct their homeland is the common aspiration of China and international coummunity. China will continue its support in global demining actions within its capacity. And China stands ready to further cooperation with the States Parties to the Convention, relevant international organizations and NGOs, in order to promote global mine actions, to contribute to the reduction of civilian casualties caused by APLs and to the progress of economic and social development in relevant regions and countries.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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