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Written Statement of the Chinese Delegation at the Thematic Discussion on Disarmament Machinery at the First Committee of the 76th Session of the UNGA

2021-10-22 11:56

Mr. Chairman,

Since the SSOD-I, disarmament machinery including the First Committee, the Conference on Disarmament, and the Disarmament Commission, have played an indispensable role in facilitating arms control and disarmament process and maintaining international security. At the moment, the international security landscape is undergoing complex and profound changes, new challenges and problems are emergin,and multilateral disarmament process is plagued by both corona virus and “political virus”. A certain country adopts an utilitarian attitude towards multilateral disarmament machinery, in order to serve its goal of gaining hegemony status and absolute security advantage. Some countries attempt to invent new venues for treaty negotiation, deliberately circumventing the Conference on Disarmament and other relevant multilateral mechanisms. Such trends are undermining the authority and effectiveness of traditional multilateral disarmament mechanisms. 

China believes that these multilateral disarmament mechanisms under the UN framework, although having different agendas and mandates, are all embodiment of the UN Member States’ commitment to multilateralism. They are important platforms for discussing international security issues, promoting international arms control process, and safeguarding global security governance on an equal footing. In light of the complex international security landscape, it is imperative that we revitalize and strengthen these mechanisms. To this end, China would like to make the following proposals:

Firstly, we should firmly uphold multilateralism and the authority of disarmament machinery. The successful adoption of important arms control instruments, including the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, fully testifies to the effectiveness and viability of the multilateral disarmament mechanisms. The mechanisms per se and their rules of procedure should not be blamed for the current stalemate, which is caused by divergences over priorities of arms control and disarmament. It is irresponsible to sideline the UN and make rules through exclusive cliques. Instead, all parties should firmly abandon egoism and exceptionalism, uphold and practice true multilateralism, continue to commit themselves to bridging differences and building consensus through consultation on the basis of equality and mutual respect, thus injecting impetus into the multilateral disarmament mechanisms and achieve new progress in the meanwhile.

Secondly, we should earnestly promote solidarity and oppose politicization of disarmament machinery. The Conference on Disarmament and other relevant multilateral mechanisms serve to provide a venue for promoting common security for all, rather than a battlefield for political wrestling. For quite some time, certain countries have been recklessly spreading “political virus” in disarmament platforms by repeatedly interfering in other countries’ internal affairs and carrying out smear campaigns against other countries. Such practices have disrupted the normal operation of these mechanisms, intoxicated the environment for mutual trust and cooperation, and aggravated divisions among member states. We should guard against and resolutely oppose such acts. In order to create a conducive environment for multilateral disarmament and jointly address prominent risks and challenges, it is important that all parties respect and coordinate with each other, build consensus and bridge differences, and promote peace and security through cooperation.

Thirdly, we should make innovative efforts to keep disarmament machinery abreast of the times. As traditional and non-traditional security issues become ever more intertwined, the subject and scope of arms control and disarmament are also being expanded. In particular, the emerging technologies and their military applications are profoundly affecting the global military balance and strategic stability, while the Covid-19 pandemic is further underlining the importance of biological security. Multilateral disarmament mechanisms should adapt themselves to this new reality. In addition to working on traditional agenda items, we should also actively deal with new security issues on the basis of thorough discussion and coordination, so as to properly address new challenges and threats.

Mr. Chairman,

China remains committed to multilateralism. We stand ready to work with all parties to support and participate in the work of disarmament machinery, and make joint efforts in pushing forward international arms control and disarmament process.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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