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Statement by H.E. Ambassador WU Haitao, Head of the Chinese Delegation at the 2013 Meeting of States Parties to the Biological Weapons Convention

Madame Chair,

     At the outset, please allow me, on behalf of the Chinese delegation, to congratulate you on your assumption of the chairmanship of the 2013 Meeting of States Parties to the Biological Weapons Convention. I believe that your rich diplomatic experience and outstanding skills will lead this Meeting to a positive outcome. The Chinese delegation will fully support your work.

     We would also to take this opportunity to convey our deep condolences on the passing of Mr. Mandela and express sincere sympathy with the government and people of South Africa as well as Mr. Mandela's family.

     Madame Chair,

     While the rapid development of bioscience and biotechnology benefits mankind, non-traditional security factors such as misuse of biotechnology, outburst of pandemic infectious diseases and bioterrorism also bring threats to human security. Eliminating and preventing the proliferation of biological weapons, as well as properly responding to various non-traditional security threats in the biological field, are a consensus of the international community, and at the same time, call for joint efforts of States Parties. Under such circumstances, the importance of the Convention has become increasingly prominent. To further promote the objectives of the Convention in a balanced manner, and enhance its universality and effectiveness, serves the common interests of States Parties.

     During the Meeting of Experts in August, States Parties conducted discussions and put forward proposals on such agenda items of international cooperation and assistance under Article X, development in the field of science and technology related to the Convention, strengthening national implementation and Confidence Building Measures. The Chinese delegation appreciates the synthesis paper prepared by the Chairman, which summarizes the ideas and proposals made by States Parties. The Chinese delegation is ready to continue to exchange views with other delegations to promote common understanding.

     Madame Chair,

     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, as well as promote the sustainable and healthy development of the Convention. States Parties should work together to actively implement Article X of the Convention, and further explore initiatives and measures to promote international cooperation, taking the reasonable demands of the developing countries into full account, in order to enable more States Parties, especially the developing countries to truly benefit from international cooperation.

     Timely assessing the impacts of the development in bioscience and biotechnology on the Convention, preventing the misuse of bioscience and biotechnology, as well as strengthening biosafety and biosecurity and sharing experiences and practices of management, are beneficial to the promotion of the effective implementation of the Convention. In order to jointly confront all kinds of biosafety and biosecurity risks and threats, and guarantee that bioscience and biotechnology could better benefit mankind, more efforts should be made to encourage States Parties to reinforce capacity building in biosafety and biosecurity according to their national conditions, as well as to balance the development of bioscience and biotechnology with necessary biosafety and biosecurity supervision.

     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, are important guarantees for States Parties to fulfill the obligations of the Convention and improve its effectiveness. In recent years, States Parties have made unremitting efforts to strengthen national implementation. States Parties should be encouraged to continue sharing experience in national implementation and strengthening national implementation 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.

     The Confidence-Building Measures(CBMs) is an important means for States Parties to demonstrate commitments to the Convention and enhance mutual trust. China attaches importance to the CBMs, and has submitted annual CBMs data in a timely manner. Currently, the low rate of submission is the major challenge to the CBMs. According to the Final Document of the 7th Review Conference, efforts should be focused on encouraging more States Parties to submit CBMs data. Meanwhile, the CBMs submission is not obligatory in nature, thus national conditions and capacity of different States Parties should be taken into account when revision in the content of CBM forms being considered, and relevant discussions should follow the mandate of the Review Conference.

     Madame Chair,

     Discussions on the above-mentioned agenda items will provide important reference for States Parties to enhance the effectiveness of the Convention and further promote the principles and objectives of the Convention. The Chinese delegation will work in a pragmatic and constructive manner with all parties to promote positive outcome from this meeting on the basis of consensus.

     Thank you, Madame Chair.

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