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Statement by Mr. Yin Haigang of the Chinese Delegation at the Thematic Debate on Chemical Weapons at the First Committee of the 68th Session of the UNGA

2013-10-24 22:44

Mr. Chairman,

New developments have taken place in the implementation of the CWC this year. The Third Review Conference of the States Parties was held smoothly. It conducted a comprehensive review of the implementation of the CWC in the past five years, and planned for the future work of the OPCW. Somalia and the Syrian Arab Republic have acceded to the Convention, further strengthening its universality. China welcomes these positive developments.

Meanwhile, the OPCW is still faced with major challenges of promoting destruction of chemical weapons and abandoned chemical weapons by both Possessor States Parties and Abandoning States Parties. The issue of Syrian Chemical Weapons has caused extensive and continuous concerns of the international community, which further highlights the significance of full and effective implementation of the CWC. I would like to reiterate that China consistently upholds the objectives and purposes of the Convention, earnestly implements the Convention in a comprehensive manner, supports enhancement of universality of the Convention, commits itself to the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of chemical weapons, and opposes the proliferation of such weapons.

Please allow me to elaborate China’s position in the following three major issues:

Firstly, today, large amount of declared chemical weapons stockpiles and abandoned chemical weapons remain to be destroyed . China holds the position that the destruction of chemical weapons and abandoned chemical weapons should continue to be the core mission of the Convention and the OPCW. The OPCW must ensure adequate resources for the verification of destruction and urge the Possessor States Parties and Abandoning States Parties to complete the destruction within the timelines set up by the relevant decisions and destruction plan. Under this precondition, industry verification, assistance and protection against chemical weapons, and international cooperation should be promoted in a balanced manner.

Secondly, complete and safe destruction of the abandoned chemical weapons by Japan on the territory of China (hereinafter “Japanese ACWs”) also have stakes in the objective and credibility of the Convention. Almost 70 years has passed since the end of Japanese War of Aggression against China and 16 years since the entry into force of the Convention, Japanese ACWs still pose great threat and cause real harm to Chinese people, their property and the environment. Frequent incidences of human casualties caused by Japanese ACWs have demonstrated the real threat of Japanese ACWs, which can be even greater than that of the chemical weapon stockpile. It is regrettable that Japan failed to complete the destruction of ACWs within the timeline of the CWC. China urges Japan to fully comply with relevant Executive Council decisions, increase inputs and spare no efforts to complete the destruction according to the destruction plan agreed by China and Japan and decisions adopted by Executive Council. China welcomes the OPCW and the international community to continuously follow the Japanese ACWs issue and promote relevant process.

Thirdly, China welcomes the decision and resolution adopted respectively by the Executive Council of the OPCW and the UN Security Council on the issue of Syrian chemical weapons and hopes they will be fully implemented. The international community and relevant parties should make joint efforts to create favorable conditions to that end.

Mr. Chairman,

China supports the positive role played by the OPCW in the destruction of chemical weapons in Syria. China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi announced that China stands ready to make financial contribution to the OPCW and to send experts for the destruction of chemical weapons in Syria.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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