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Remarks by Ambassador Zhang Jun at the Open Consultations on the Comprehensive Review of the Status of the Implementation of Resolution 1540

2022-05-31 13:50

Mr. Chair, 


The Chinese delegation thanks you for convening today’s meeting. 


The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery bears on international peace, security, and stability. Resolution 1540 adopted in 2004 is the first Security Council resolution on non-proliferation and a major pillar of the international nonproliferation efforts. Thanks to the tireless efforts of the international community, the international non-proliferation consensus continues to deepen, the non-proliferation regime keeps improving, and the international cooperation in this respect is seeing steady progress. International efforts to address the proliferation activities of non-state actors are also effectively enhanced. 


At the same time, we need to realize that the international security situation is undergoing complex and profound changes, and proliferation risks and challenges still exist. The Korean and Iranian nuclear issues and other proliferation hotspot issues or long-standing problems remain difficult to solve. The tensions in the Korean peninsula and the Middle East are rising, leading to higher proliferation risks. Advances in science and technology mean that the risk of access by non-state actors, terrorists in particular, to WMDs has become more diverse. Unilateralism and double standards in non-proliferation are further on the rise. The unequal and unreasonable dimensions of the international non-proliferation regime have become even more prominent. The peaceful uses of technology by developing countries are still faced with many constraints.


Mr. Chair,


In this new context, with the focus on the comprehensive review of Resolution 1540 and the promotion of the international non-proliferation process, China would like to propose the following points. 


First, upholding true multilateralism. Non-proliferation is a global challenge. To address the issue, multilateral cooperation and the leadership of the UN are essential. All parties should uphold a common, comprehensive, cooperative, and sustainable security concept, Attach importance to each other’s legitimate security concerns, eliminate drivers for proliferation, and stay committed to universal and common security. It is important to uphold the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, strengthen the collective security mechanism with the UN at the center, defend the authority of the Security Council, and remain committed to solving non-proliferation hotspot issues through peaceful means including dialogue and consultation. Sanctions alone won’t solve these issues or risks. On the contrary, they only lead to escalating tensions and spillover risks. Unilateral sanctions and the so-called long-arm jurisdiction harm the legitimate interests of other countries. They don’t have the support of the public, and should be abandoned. 


Second, consolidating the international non-proliferation system. The NPT is the cornerstone of the international disarmament and non-proliferation system, and a major component of the post-war international security system. Countries shouldn’t be allowed to pick and choose, apply double standards, or take selective approaches. We should firmly oppose any erosion or hollowing out of the Treaty. Some countries ignored the objections of the international community, conducted cooperation on nuclear submarines, and insisted on introducing weapon-grade nuclear materials into Asia Pacific, which are a clear violation of the purposes and principles of the NPT, and have led to serious nuclear proliferation risks. Such irresponsible actions need our close attention. At the same time, countries should further enhance the universality of the NPT, BWC, and CWC, and use the opportunity of the review conferences of these treaties to make sure that these treaties are implemented in a comprehensive, effective, and balanced manner. 


Third, safeguarding countries’ right to peaceful uses. Using science and technology for peaceful purposes and conducting international cooperation in this regard is an inalienable right of all states by international law. For many years, some countries use their non-proliferation mechanism consisting of a small circle of countries that they lead to impose discriminatory export control measures on developing countries and heavily engaged in double standards. Individual countries use non-proliferation or national security as an excuse to impose restrictions wantonly on technology exchanges and cooperation, advocate the so-called decoupling, and seriously undermine the basis of international cooperation on non-proliferation. The 76th session of UNGA adopted the resolution on promoting international cooperation on peaceful uses, co-sponsored by China and 26 other countries, calling on the removal of restrictions on the right of developing countries to peaceful uses. China welcomes the continued, inclusive dialogue under the UNGA framework, with a view to ensuring that the right to peaceful uses is respected and protected, unreasonable restrictions are removed, and universal security and development of all countries are better realized. 


Fourth, fully promoting the comprehensive review process, China supports the Committee in creating a reasonable program of work. The community should continue to promote substantially the comprehensive review of the Resolution, and conduct objective evaluations of all countries’ implementation of the Resolution. It should attach importance to the proliferation risks caused by emerging technologies, and provide effective and actionable recommendations on addressing the relevant non-proliferation risks and challenges. It should also further promote international cooperation in this area, improve the effectiveness of its assistance programs, and facilitate the full and effective implementation of the Resolution. During this process, there is a need to uphold the leading role of member states and consider in a holistic way the international obligations of each country and their national situations, support developing countries in improving their non-proliferation capacity building, and ensure the participation and voice of all countries, in particular, developing countries. 


Mr. Chair,


China is firmly opposed to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery. We have always strictly honored our non-proliferation international obligations, continued to improve our export control mechanisms and capacity building, and contributed to enhancing non-proliferation efforts at the national, regional, and international levels with concrete actions. 


On domestic legislation, an export control legal framework with the Export Control Law of the PRC at the center has been largely completed. The Export Control Law clearly stipulates that through export control, we can prevent relevant items, technologies, and services from being used in weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery or for terrorist purposes. 


On mechanism building, China has gradually built an inter-agency export control mechanism with clear division of duties to manage dual-use items, military products, and nuclear export, covering non-proliferation supervision in production, R&D, export, and financing. We are also continuously promoting modernization of the import and export control system. 


On the Resolution implementation, China actively takes part in the work of the Committee and its group of experts and is contributing to the implementation of the Resolution. China submitted several national reports, and received a national implementation visit from the Committee in 2014. China held together with the Committee three training sessions for national points of contact in the Asia Pacific region to improve the implementation capacity building of countries in the region. We are ready to make further contributions in this area. 


On international cooperation, China actively participated in the reviews and international cooperation in the frameworks of the NPT, BWC, CWC, and IAEA, and offered China’s solutions and wisdom. 


China will continue to work with Committee members and other parties to promote the effective implementation of Resolution 1540 and the comprehensive review of the resolution, and make positive contributions to enhancing global non-proliferation governance. 


Thank you, Mr. Chair.


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