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Statement by Ambassador Fu on Expansion of CD Membership at Informal Consultation
2017/06/22

Mr. President,

The Chinese delegation welcomes your convening this informal consultation to solicit views on the expansion of CD membership. We hope that the relevant discussion will lead to an early breakthrough on this issue.

As we all know, the CD was established during the Cold War. Its original membership was the result of compromise between the Western and the Eastern blocks. In the last century, the CD experienced several expansions. However, each time its new membership was marked with clear traces of the Cold War, insufficient universality and inclusiveness and lack of balance in the voice of geographical and political groups.

Since the beginning of the 21st century, the international situation has gone through profound changes. With democratization of international relations and global security governance proceeding in depth and international security situation closely interlinked with the survival and development of all states, participating in the work of the CD has become the common aspiration of many states. In recent years, with more states requesting to participate in the CD as observer states, the voice of the international community for expansion of CD membership has been on the rise.

China is of the view that, with its current membership, the CD is indeed seriously out of touch with the international political and security reality. The CD should reflect real life situation and positively consider accepting more states as full members.

Enhancing the universality of the CD has many advantages. 1. It can help dilute geographical differences and resolve the longstanding issue of membership expansion. 2. It can enhance democracy, reflect international consensus to the fullest degree, render unnecessary the idea of exploring alternatives and safeguard the authority of the CD as the only multilateral disarmament negotiation mechanism. 3. It can inject new vitality into the CD and, pending agreement on its program of work, explore other ways to break deadlock and move forward its substantive work.

We have also noted that some states are concerned that an expansion could lead to reducing CD’s efficiency and make it even more difficult to reach consensus. In fact, however, such a concern is unwarranted. What has been troubling disarmament mechanisms of the UN over the past twenty years is the result of the interaction between international security environment and the political will of states rather than the expansion of membership. The fact that both the Disarmament Commission and the Open-ended Working Group on SSOD-IV achieved positive results on the basis of consensus this year shows that, with sufficient political will on the part of states, the international community can overcome difficulties and move forward disarmament and governance of international security.

China has on many occasions expressed support for the CD to accept all UN member states as full members. This is an inevitable requirement that comes with multilateralism and the essence of global governance. China is flexible with the speed of expansion. If it is not possible to reach target at one go, we can consider granting full membership to observer states based on the principle of equitable geographical distribution. An official subsidiary body on the expansion of the CD should be established to facilitate relevant work.

Thank you, Mr. President

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