Home Meetings & Statements Events & Activities China & UN 中文
  Home > China & UN > Disarmament and Arms Control > First Committee
Statement by H.E. Ambassador Wu Haitao, Head of the Chinese Delegation at the General Debate of the First Committee of the 68th Session of the United Nations General Assembly

2013-10-08 04:46

Mr. Chairman,

At the outset, please allow me to congratulate you on your election to the chairmanship of this session of the UNGA First Committee. I am confident that, with your rich diplomatic experience and wisdom, the current session will be steered to a success. The Chinese Delegation would like to assure you and other delegations of our full cooperation.

Mr. Chairman,

The international situation is undergoing profound and complex changes. There is extensive support for world multi-polarity and greater democracy in international relations. Economic globalization and information technology are changing the world in a profound way. Countries are more interdependent. At the same time, the international community still faces many challenges. Various traditional and non-traditional security threats are entwined. There is still a long way to go to safeguard the international security.

To address difficult global issues and challenges requires the joint efforts of all UN Member States. All parties should abandon the Cold War mentality and zero-sum game theory, promote equality, mutual trust, inclusiveness and mutual learning, and mutually beneficial cooperation, pursue collective and common security through cooperation, consolidate the multilateral security system with the United Nations at its core, resolve disputes through dialogue and negotiation, and join hands to build a peaceful, harmonious and stable international and regional environment.

Mr. Chairman,

Some progress has been made in the nuclear disarmament process, but the continuous and further promotion and eventual attainment of a nuclear-weapon-free world remains an arduous task. Nuclear proliferation issues are still prominent. Security areas such as outer space and cyber space are facing challenges. Multilateral disarmament machinery is in urgent need of revitalization. Therefore, countries should make joint efforts to further promote the process of international arms control, disarmament and nonproliferation in the following aspects:

Firstly, advance nuclear disarmament in a step-by-step manner, and reduce proliferation risks comprehensively.

Nuclear-weapon states should abandon the nuclear deterrence doctrine based on the first use of nuclear weapons and make an unequivocal commitment of no-first-use of and not using or threatening to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states or nuclear-weapon-free zones, negotiate and conclude a legally-binding international instrument in this regard at an early date. Countries with the largest nuclear arsenals should continue to take the lead in making drastic and substantive reductions in their nuclear weapons. When conditions are ripe, other nuclear-weapon states should also join the multilateral negotiations on nuclear disarmament. Nuclear disarmament should stick to the principles of maintaining global strategic balance and stability and undiminished security for all. The development of missile defence systems that undermine global strategic balance and stability should be abandoned.

China has always stood for the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons. China is firmly committed to its nuclear strategy of self-defense and has adhered to the policy of no-first-use of nuclear weapons at any time and under any circumstances, and made the unequivocal commitment that we will unconditionally not use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states or nuclear-weapon-free-zones. China supports the early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). Last August, Dr. Lassina Zerbo, the Executive Secretary of the Provisional Technical Secretariat of CTBTO, paid a working visit to China, during which the two sides discussed and reached consensus on deepening cooperation.

Dialogue and negotiation is the only right way to resolve regional nuclear issues. For the Iranian nuclear issue, parties concerned should step up diplomatic efforts, promote the dialogue process between P5+1 and Iran to make early progress, so as to create conditions for a comprehensive, long-term and appropriate solution. Regarding the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, China believes that the six-party talks remain a pragmatic and effective mechanism to push forward denuclearization of the Peninsula and maintain peace and stability there. China is ready to work together with parties concerned and make unremitting efforts to relaunch the six-party talks without delay and realize the denuclearization of the Peninsula and lasting peace and stability on the Peninsula and in Northeast Asia at large.

China supports efforts of regional countries to establish the Southeast Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone and the Central Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone. China supports the early convening of the International Conference on the Establishment of a Middle East Zone Free of Nuclear Weapons and All Other Weapons of Mass Destruction.

The Third PrepCom of the 2015 NPT Review Conference will be held next year. China is willing to work with the international community to promote the implementation of the Final Document of the 2010 Review Conference with a view to advancing the purposes and objectives of the Treaty in a comprehensive and balanced manner. Last month, China held the second experts' meeting of the P5 Working Group on Glossary of Definitions for Key Nuclear Terms successfully in Beijing. China will host a P5 conference in April next year in Beijing to exchange in-depth views on important issues including the implementation of the outcome of the NPT Review Conference through cooperation.

Secondly, strictly fulfill the obligations of relevant international arms control treaties and push forward the disarmament process of chemical and conventional weapons in an active and proper way.

The Chemical Weapons Convention has been playing a significant role in removing the threat of chemical weapons and preventing their proliferation. Currently, the destruction of chemical weapons in Syria is an important task facing the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). China welcomes the decision and the resolution on the issue of chemical weapons in Syria adopted respectively by the Executive Council of OPCW and the United Nations Security Council, and we support the OPCW in launching the verification and destruction of chemical weapons. China stands ready to send experts to participate in relevant work and provide financial support in this regard.

China is a victim of chemical weapons. Last month, at the joint invitation of China and Japan, the Director-General of OPCW and representatives of the Executive Council conducted a transparency visit on the Chemical Weapons Abandoned by Japan in China (JACW) destruction facility in Haerbaling. JACW pose grave threats to the lives and property of the Chinese people and the environment. At this stage, although some progress has been made, the overall process of destruction lags far behind schedule. Deeply concerned and dissatisfied with the slow pace of destruction, China urges the Japanese side to faithfully fulfill its obligations as the Abandoning State Party and complete the destruction at an early date.

China attaches great importance to the humanitarian concerns caused by illicit trade in conventional arms. China strictly abides by the domestic arms export laws and regulations and relevant UNSC resolutions, and does not transfer weapons to conflict regions or non-state actors. China took part in the negotiation process of the Arms Trade Treaty in an active and constructive manner. China will remain engaged with all parties on the follow-up work of this Treaty and make joint efforts to build a regulated and reasonable international arms trade order.

The Chinese Government earnestly fulfill its obligations under the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) and its additional protocols and has been dedicated to international cooperation in humanitarian demining efforts. China has already provided humanitarian demining assistances in various forms to over 40 countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Thirdly, formulate necessary international norms at an early date and prevent the cyberspace and outer space from becoming new battlefields.

Cyberspace is interconnected, where countries have shared interests and common destiny. All countries should safeguard common security through practical cooperation on the basis of mutual respect. Cyberspace is neither an enclave without law nor the jungle where the law of jungle applies. The top priority is to formulate international rules of cyberspace under the UN framework. To this end, China, Russia and some other countries jointly put forward the "International Code of Conduct for Information Security" to the UNGA in 2011, and its updating is underway. China stands ready to work with other parties to achieve an early consensus on the Code of Conduct and jointly build a peaceful, secure, open and cooperative cyberspace.

Preventing the weaponization of and an arms race in outer space, negotiating and concluding at an early date a legal instrument preventing an arms race in outer space, and safeguarding the security in outer space serves the common interests of all countries. In 2008, China and Russia jointly submitted to the Conference on Disarmament (CD) the draft Treaty on the Prevention of the Placement of Weapons in Outer Space, the Threat or Use of Force against Outer Space Objects (PPWT).  China is ready to work with all parties to continue in-depth discussions, so as to further improve the draft PPWT and facilitate early start of the negotiations. Transparency and Confidence-Building Measures (TCBMs) provide useful complement to efforts of preventing an arms race in outer space. China actively participates in the work of the UN Group of Government Experts (GGE) on Outer Space TCBMs and is deeply involved in the discussion of "the International Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities" (ICOC).

Fourthly, firmly safeguard the authority of the multilateral disarmament machinery and revitalize the work of the Conference on Disarmament (CD).

Over the past years, various proposals have been put forward on issues including reforming multilateral disarmament machinery, promoting Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT) negotiations and advancing nuclear disarmament process. The CD, the UN Disarmament Commission, the UNGA First Commitee and the review process of the NPT, present appropriate venues for deliberations and negotiations of nuclear disarmament, FMCT, etc. To set up "new kitchens" to deal with nuclear disarmament issues only weakens the authority of the existing mechanisms, disperse precious resources, thus proves counterproductive to nuclear disarmament.

China always believes that the CD is the single and most appropriate venue for FMCT negotiations. The GGE of the FMCT, which will be established in the next year, should stick to the mandate spelled out by the UNGA resolution 67/53, and its members should include the major producers of fissile material for nuclear weapons and other nuclear explosive devices. The GGE should strictly comply with the principle of consensus, and its work should be incorporated into the framework of the CD once the CD reaches its programme of work.

Mr. Chairman,

China's new central leadership has put forward the Chinese dream of realizing the great renewal of the Chinese nation. The Chinese dream is about peace, development, cooperation and win-win results, and it is connected to the dreams of people all over the world. China's development is to enhance power for peace in the world. China will unswervingly adhere to the road of peaceful development, and deepen cooperation with all other countries on the basis of mutual respect and mutual benefit. China stands ready to join hands with all sides to push forward the international arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation process.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Suggest to a friend