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China introduces the release of the Joint Statement by the Foreign Ministers of China and the Russian Federation at the First Committee of the 76th Sessions of the UNGA

2021-10-07 11:45

On October 7, the First Committee of the 76th Sessions of the United Nations General Assembly continued the general debate. Ambassador Geng Shuang made a joint statement on behalf of China and the Russia Federation, to introduce the Joint Statement by the Foreign Ministers of China and the Russian Federation on Strengthening the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction (BWC), which was released on the same day.

Ambassador Geng Shuang said that since its entry-into-force in 1975, the BWC has played an important role in eliminating the threat and preventing the proliferation of biological weapons and promoting the peaceful uses of biotechnology. The BWC Ninth Review Conference will be held next year, and it’s necessary for the international community to take this opportunity to strengthen the authority and effectiveness of the Convention and promote the early realization of the goal of complete elimination of biological weapons. To this end, the Foreign Ministers of the People's Republic of China and the Russia Federation issued a Joint Statement on Strengthening the BWC today.

Ambassador Geng Shuang read out the full text of the Joint Statement. The main contents include that China and the Russian Federation reaffirm their conviction that the BWC is essential as a pillar of the international peace and security, and should be fully complied with and further strengthened, including through its institutionalization and the adoption of a legally binding protocol to the Convention with effective verification mechanism. With a view to shaping a BWC mechanism of investigation of the alleged biological weapons incidents, the two countries call on the BWC States Parties to develop operating standards for the mechanism, together with technical guidelines and procedures.

China and the Russian Federation note with concern that over the past two decades, the BWC States Parties have failed to reach an agreement on resuming the multilateral negotiations on the Protocol to the Convention, with the United States unilaterally withdrawing from this process in 2001. The United States’ and its allies’ overseas military biological activities (over 200 US biological laboratories are deployed outside its national territory, which function in an opaque and non-transparent manner) cause serious concerns and questions among the international community over its compliance with the BWC. The two sides share the view that such activities pose serious risks for the national security of China and the Russian Federation, and are detrimental to the security of relevant regions. The United States and its allies should act in an open, transparent and responsible manner, by informing properly on its military biological activities carried out overseas and on their national territory. Including information on the overseas military biological activities in the declaration by the BWC States Parties will be conducive to filling in the blank spots and fostering confidence among States Parties.

China and the Russian Federation stress that the rapid development of science and technology in BWC-related areas call for greater attention of the BWC States Parties. There is a need to raise awareness of promoting the full use of the latest advances in biotechnology for peaceful purposes. They also call upon all BWC States Parties to adopt a constructive approach to ensure that the decisions taken by the Ninth Review Conference could strengthen the BWC regime.

Ambassador Geng Shuang emphasized that China and the Russia Federation request this Joint Statement be circulated as the document of the General Assembly. The two countries stand ready to work with the international community to promote true multilateralism, strengthen the authority and effectiveness of the Convention, safeguard the multilateral arms control and disarmament regime, and maintain international peace and security.

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