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Statement by Counselor Zhang Junan of the Chinese Delegation on Nuclear Disarmament at the Thematic Debate at the First Committee of the 67th Session of UNGA

2012-10-18 04:45

Mr. Chairman,

Since last year's UNGA First Committee, progress has been achieved in the field of nuclear disarmament. The First PrepCom of the 9th NPT Review Conference was successfully held in May, which has built a solid foundation for the smooth advancing of the new review cycle.

As follow up to the London Conference in 2009 and Paris Conference in 2011, the P5 held a conference in Washington in June to continue discussions on measures to implement the NPT. The P5 Working Group on Glossary of Definitions for Key Nuclear Terms held its first experts' meeting in Beijing from September 27 to 28 and decided to speed up compiling the nuclear glossary, with a view to enhancing mutual understanding and exchanges in the nuclear field.

With close coordination among the six Presidencies, the Conference on Disarmament this year held thematic discussions on all the core issues on its agenda, including nuclear disarmament, FMCT, negative security assurance. Member States had in-depth exchange of views and put forward good proposals on steps and principals in promoting nuclear disarmament.

China welcomes the progress in the field of building nuclear-weapon-free zones. On September 17th, the P5 issued a joint statement to reaffirm their respect for Mongolia's Nuclear-Weapon-Free Status and relevant security assurance provided to Mongolia. The P5 have already reached agreement with the ASEAN countries on the content of the Protocol to the Bangkok Treaty, which provides favorable conditions for the early signature and entry-into-force of the Protocol. Preparation for the convening of the International Conference on the Establishment of a Middle East Zone Free of Nuclear-Weapons and All Other Weapons of Mass Destruction is under way.

Meanwhile, we also note that the realization of complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons and establishment of a world free of nuclear weapons remain a long-term and arduous task. China believes that the international community should foster a new thinking on security featuring mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and coordination, and make further efforts in the following aspects:

First, all nuclear-weapon states should fulfill in good faith nuclear disarmament obligations under the NPT, and publicly undertake not to seek permanent possession of nuclear weapons. Countries with the largest nuclear arsenals should continue to take the lead in making drastic reductions in their nuclear weapons in a verifiable and irreversible manner so as to create conditions for comprehensive and thorough nuclear disarmament. The international community should also develop, at an appropriate time, a viable, long-term plan composed of phased actions, including the conclusion of a convention on the complete prohibition of nuclear weapons.

Second, all nuclear-weapon states should abandon the nuclear deterrence policy based on first use of nuclear weapons and unequivocally undertake no-first-use of nuclear weapons and negotiate and conclude a treaty on no-first-use of nuclear weapons against one another. Nuclear-weapon states should also unequivocally undertake not using or threatening to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states or nuclear-weapon-free zones, and conclude a legally-binding international instrument in this regard at an early date. The policy and practice of nuclear umbrella and nuclear sharing should be abandoned. Countries that deploy nuclear weapons abroad should withdraw all such weapons. Efforts by relevant countries to establish nuclear-weapon-free zones should be supported.

Third, countries that have not done so should sign and ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty(CTBT)to facilitate its early entry-into-force in accordance with relevant provisions of the Treaty. The nuclear weapon states should continue to observe their moratoria on nuclear explosion tests. The Conference on Disarmament in Geneva is the only appropriate forum to negotiate a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT). It has the most representative membership, with the Rules of Procedure which can fully protect the interests of the member States, as well as rich experience and necessary expertise in negotiations. Negotiations on such a treaty with the participation of all relevant parties should commence in the CD as soon as possible.

Fourth, nuclear disarmament should follow the principles of promoting international stability, peace and security and undiminished security for all. The development of missile defense systems that undermine global strategic balance and stability should be abandoned. Multilateral negotiations on preventing the weaponization of and an arms race in outer space should be vigorously promoted so as to create favorable international strategic security environment for nuclear disarmament.

Mr. Chairman,

China has consistently stood for the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons and is firmly committed to a nuclear strategy of self-defense. China has adhered to the policy of no-first-use of nuclear weapons at any time or under any circumstances, and made the unequivocal commitment that it will unconditionally not use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states or nuclear-weapon-free zones. Such nuclear policy is unique among all nuclear-weapon states. China has never deployed any nuclear weapons on foreign territory. It has never participated in any form of nuclear arms race, nor will it ever do so. China will continue to keep its nuclear capabilities at the minimum level required for national security.

China is ready to work with the international community to continuously make unremitting efforts in promoting the international nuclear disarmament process and ultimately realizing the goal of complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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