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Remarks by Ambassador Geng Shuang at the UN Security Council Briefing on the Work of the 1540 Committee

2023-03-23 17:00

Mr. President, 

I would like to thank Ambassador Hernan Perez Loose, Chairman of the 1540 Committee, for briefing the Council on the Committee’s work, and congratulate him on assuming this important post. 

The active work of the Committee last year has yielded tangible results and effectively promoted cooperation in the implementation of Resolution 1540 and international nonproliferation. The Committee, the group of experts, and the Secretariat all have made efforts and contributions to this end, which China appreciates. 

Mr. President, 

Recent years have witnessed a deepening international consensus on non-proliferation, and more effective and stronger efforts to counter proliferation by non-state actors. In the meantime, the situation of non-proliferation remains grave. Unilateralism and double standard are on the rise. Developing countries still face restrictions on the peaceful use of technology. The inequitable and unreasonable elements of international non-proliferation regime are getting more pronounced. 

In view of the current non-proliferation situation, the new comprehensive review process of the Committee, and the longer-term non-proliferation efforts, I wish to share the following observations. 

First, we need to create a favorable international security environment. Parties should uphold the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, practice true multilateralism, follow the purpose and principles of the UN Charter, seek peaceful settlement to disagreements, promote unity and cooperation, abandoned Cold War mentality, renounce division and confrontation, and jointly respond to global and regional security threats, and build a community of shared security through dialogue and cooperation. 

Second, we need to consolidate and strengthen the current non-proliferation regime. The non-proliferation architecture, underpinned by international treaties, Security Council resolutions, and relevant international bodies, has played an indispensable and important role in the maintenance of international peace and security. Parties should further strengthen the authority and effectiveness of major national treaties inter alia NPT, CWC, and BWC, uphold the roles and functions of the IAEA, OPCW, among others, firmly oppose the politicization of their work, even more so, prevent their utilization as a tool to pursue geopolitical goals. 

Third, we need to vigorously advance capacity building in member states. Parties should encourage member states to identify priority goals and areas in the implementation of the resolution commensurate with their own international obligations and national conditions. Technical assistance and international cooperation should be more resourced and focused on helping developing countries to meet the shortfall in non-proliferation mechanisms, technologies, and talents. New proliferation risks caused by technological advances, in particular emerging technologies, should be taken seriously. Government regulations need to be reinforced and a favorable environment needs to be created for relevant technological advancements. 

Fourth, we need to ensure the rights to peaceful use in earnest. All countries have the legitimate right to enjoy the dividend of technological advancements. Relevant international treaties, Security Council resolutions, and the General Assembly Resolution entitled “promoting international cooperation on peaceful use in the context of international security” sponsored by China all affirm this principle. We should strike a better balance between development and security by both effectively responding to risks of proliferation and reducing unreasonable restrictions, thereby defending the legitimate rights of all countries, developing countries in particular. 

Mr. President, 

It is of particular significance at this point to ensure non-proliferation rules be fully and effectively implemented. Disregarding questions and opposition, certain countries are intent on advancing nuclear submarine cooperation under the framework of the so-called trilateral security partnership. Two nuclear weapons states and depository states of the NPT unprecedentedly transfer tons of weapon-grade highly enriched uranium to a non-nuclear weapon state. This move provokes an arms race, stokes bloc confrontation, jeopardizes regional and global security and stability, violates the goals and purpose of NPT, and constitutes a grave challenge to the international nuclear non-proliferation regime. We urge relevant countries to abandon their archaic and narrow geopolitical considerations, honor their own non-proliferation obligations, revoke the decision of carrying out nuclear submarine cooperation, and safeguard regional and international peace and security with concrete deeds. 

Mr. President, 

Non-proliferation is a long-term task and an important mission of the international community. The implementation of Resolution 1540 will be a progressive process. We hope all parties can earnestly fulfill their respective international obligations, actively participate in international non-proliferation cooperation, jointly strengthen global non-proliferation governance, and push for universal and common security for the world. China will continue our efforts and contribution to this end.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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