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Statement of the Chinese Delegation at the Thematic Discussion on Other Weapons of Mass Destruction at the First Committee of the 75th Session of the UNGA

2020-10-27 06:54

Mr. Chairman,

Under the current circumstances, to enhance the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) and Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) becomes more important to safeguarding international peace and security and promoting social and economic development of the world. All parties should strictly fulfill their obligations under the BWC and CWC, actively conduct dialogue and cooperation, jointly uphold the purposes and objectives of the BWC and CWC, as well as their authority and effectiveness.

Mr. Chairman,

The COVID-19 pandemic is a severe test that all mankind face together. No single country could cope with the pandemic on its own. Scapegoating and shirking responsibilities can never drive away the virus. Fighting alone or resorting to unilateralism leads to nowhere. While fighting together against the pandemic, we should think over how to strengthen global biosecurity governance and jointly deal with the eminent challenges and threats posed by biological warfare and bio-terrorism. In this context, we should make full use of the meetings to be held under the BWC from later this year to the end of next year so as to work for more tangible results in the Ninth Review Conference. To this end,the Chinese side would like to put forward three propositions.

First, resume the negotiation on a BWC verification protocol as soon as possible. In this way, the lacking of a verification mechanism and monitoring body, a long-term weakness of the BWC, could be addressed. We urge the US side to stop standing in the way of negotiations on a BWC verification protocol so that the review Conference can make a decision on this matter.

Second, strengthen the CBMs. The US has built a large number of biological laboratories around the world. Many countries believe that the activities conducted in those labs lack transparency and there is no guarantee that these activities conform to stipulations of the BWC. We propose to add the item of overseas biological laboratories in the CBM submission, pending the conclusion of a verification protocol. This will help diffuse doubts and concerns of the international community in this aspect.

Third, promote global biosecurity cooperation. The pandemic has laid bare the inadequacies all countries in terms of capabilities, resources and so on. The initiative for the establishment of a Non-proliferation Export Control and International Cooperation Regime proposed by China in 2016 is aimed at striking a balance between security and development and ensuring inclusive benefit-sharing of biological technologies and resources, and increasing the level and capability of global biosecurity. In the long run, it is necessary to establish an impartial, inclusive and non-discriminatory global non-proliferation export control and international cooperation mechanism under the framework of UN.

Forth, ensure the sound and orderly o development of biotechnology. It is in the common interests of the international community to unleash the benefits of biotechnology while preventing the risk of its misuse and disuse. The voluntary Model Code of Conduct for Bio-scientists proposed by China in 2016 has been widely discussed. It could well become an important outcome of the upcoming Review Conference. We hope all state parties can support this initiative.

Mr. Chairman,

The CWC is one of the most universal treaties in the disarmament and arms control field. However, there is still a long way to go before we can realize the goal of a world free of chemical weapons. As the only country possessing chemical weapons stockpile, the US should earnestly fulfill its obligations and speed up the destruction of its chemical weapons stockpile. Of equal importance is the destruction the Japanese abandoned chemical weapons in China. We are willing to maintain communication on the follow-up work in this field with Japan and OPCW. China calls upon Japan to scale up its input to thoroughly destroy the Japanese ACW as soon as possible.

China has always firmly opposed the use of chemical weapons for any purpose and by any country, organization or individual under any circumstances. We stand for comprehensive, objective and impartial Investigations into alleged chemical weapons according to the CWC in order to reach a conclusion that can withstand the test of time and facts.

Many countries including China believe that the establishment of the IIT and its work are not in accordance with the provisions of the CWC. The IIT report contains many controversial conclusions and loopholes. China expresses its serious concern that under such circumstances some countries still try to force a vote on the decision at the executive council of OPCW. We call on relevant countries to stop politicizing this issue and go back onto the right track of addressing alleged use of chemical weapons through conversation and negotiation so as to avoid further damage to the authority of the Convention and solidarity at OPCW.

Mr. Chairman,

China appeals to all parties to work for a unanimous adoption of the draft resolution on “the Implementation of the CWC” and that on “the Implementation of the BWC” at the First Committee of the current session of the UNGA. China will participate in relevant consultations in a constructive manner. China hopes that its positions and concerns can be properly reflected in the drafts.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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