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Statement of Ambassador FU CONG at the First Session of the Preparatory Committee for the 8th Review Conference of the BWC

Mr. Chairman,

       First of all, please allow me, on behalf of the Chinese delegation, to sincerely congratulate you on your assumption of the chairmanship of the First Session of the Preparatory Committee for the 8th  Review Conference. I am convinced that with your rich diplomatic experience, you will guide our meeting to a positive and fruitful result. The Chinese delegation will fully support your work.

       We welcome Cote d'Ivoire's ratification of the Convention, making it the 174th state party to the Convention and we call on more countries to ratify or accede to the Convention as soon as possible.

Mr. Chairman,

       With rapid progress in bio-science and technology and their increasingly wide use, bio-safety and security has become more prominent in overall national security and global security governance. During this round of inter-sessional process, states parties conducted in-depth and fruitful discussions on the 4 items adopted by the 7th Review Conference, namely the development of bioscience and technology, international cooperation, national implementation and international assistance in case of violation of the Convention. The Convention has played an important role in the elimination of the threat from biological weapons, the prevention of their proliferation, the promotion of peaceful use of biotechnology and international cooperation, and the maintenance of global bio-safety and security.

       The 8th Review Conference will review the implementation of the Convention during the past 5 years and formulate a work program for the implementation of the Convention in the coming 5 years, which has great significance for multilateral biological arms control and global security governance. Various parties including China have put forward many constructive suggestions on the 8th Review Conference , thus providing new political momentum for strengthening the mechanisms of the Convention.

       At last year's Meeting of States Parties, China made 2 major proposals, namely to establish a Non-Proliferation Export Control Regime and to develop a Template  of Code of Conduct for Bio-scientists under  the framework of the Convention. The objective of the former is to use the institutional platform to further strengthen international efforts against proliferation in the biological field and to address the imbalance between efforts against proliferation on the one hand and international cooperation in the biological field on the other, so that all countries can better enjoy the dividends from scientific and technological advance in the biological field. The objective of the latter proposal is to enhance bio-security awareness of research personnel and to prevent the misuse and misapplication of bio-science and technology, in order to provide reference and guidance for countries to tackle the risks brought about by rapid development of bio-science and technology. These 2 proposals are conducive not only to resolving security concerns In the biological field, but also to ensuring and increasing dividends for development.

       We hope that the 8th Review Conference will mandate the next round of inter-sessional process to conduct in-depth discussions on the above proposals and we are flexible with regard to the specific form of discussions. We are willing to widely solicit views and suggestions through various channels to further improve our relevant proposals to be formally submitted before the Second Session of the Preparatory Committee. At the same time, guided by the bio-safety and security concept featuring balance, cooperation, mutual assistance and equity, China will actively participate in discussions of other parities' proposals concerning the 8th Review Conference with an open and constructive attitude, so as to make our own contributions to strengthening the Convention's universality, effectiveness  and authority and to the creation of a community of common destiny for global bio-safety and security.

       To facilitate exchange and communication between all parties before the 8th Review Conference in a common effort to explore the prospects and vision for a new round of multilateral biological arms control process, China and the ISU will jointly organize in late July in China an international workshop on the implementation of the BWC, and we welcome active participation from all sides.

Mr. Chairman,

       The formulation of a comprehensive, balanced, realistic and feasible agenda is an important precondition for achieving positive results at the 8th Review Conference. We believe that all parties should focus discussions on items such as the implementation of the Convention, the results of the inter-sessional process, future direction of multilateral biological arms control, implications of scientific and technological development for the Convention and strengthening international cooperation in the biological field. China is willing to adopt a practical and flexible  attitude and maintain our communication with all parties on relevant procedural issues to lay a solid basis for the success of the 8th Review Conference.

       Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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