|Statement of the Chinese Delegation at the Thematic Discussion on Conventional Weapons at the First Committee of the 77th Session of the UNGA
The Chinese government has always actively supported the international arms control process on conventional weapons, and advocates to continue to strengthen and improve the international legal mechanism in the field of conventional arms control on the basis of balancing the legitimate security needs and humanitarian concerns of all countries, so as to maintain lasting international peace and universal security. China has actively participated in various processes in the field of conventional weapons within the UN framework, including small arms and light weapons, conventional ammunition, and transparency in armaments, and has made continuous and positive contributions to the promotion of relevant arms control processes.
As an additional significant step, China has launched its domestic legal procedures for its ratification of the UN Firearms Protocol, which demonstrates China’s determination to support multilateralism and build a community with a shared future for mankind.
Since its accession to the Arms Trade Treaty two years ago, China steadily advanced the implementation of the Treaty, and has actively advocated the concept of responsible arms trade and called on all countries not to export arms to non-state actors, so as to make positive contributions to enhancing the effectiveness and universality of the Treaty.
China has consistently supported the work of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW), constructively participated in relevant discussions on Improvised Explosive Device (IED) and Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems (LAWS). As of the end of 2021, the Chinese Government has provided humanitarian demining assistance worth over 100 million RMB yuan to more than 40 countries through various means, and has trained over 1,000 professional demining personnel. China is ready to provide demining equipment and humanitarian materials to Cambodia and the Laos this year, with a view to enhancing the demining capacity of ASEAN countries.
At present, the international and regional security landscape is undergoing complex and profound changes. The geopolitical rivalry is intensifying, with regional armed conflicts and turbulence flaring up. Terrorism, extremism and organized transnational crimes are far from being eradicated. The scale of the arms trade keeps expanding. The risks of illicit trade and the diversion of conventional arms continue to increase. Global security governance has been negatively impacted. In particular, some superpower and military bloc stubbornly adhere to the Cold War mentality, speed up military expansion and constantly use arms sales to interfere in other counties' internal affairs and advance its geostrategy, which aggravates conflicts and antagonisms in relevant countries and regions and increases risks of conventional arms proliferation.
In April this year, Chinese President Xi Jining proposed the Global Security Initiative (GSI), which offers China’s solutions to global security challenges, including arms control on conventional arms. We should adopt a new vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, join hands to maintain the momentum of conventional arms control process. China would like to make the following proposals:
Firstly, addressing both symptoms and root causes. Countries should resolve disputes through political and diplomatic means, eliminate the root causes of wars, conflicts, terrorism and organized crimes, and help relevant countries achieve economic development and social stability to create conditions for a fundamental solution to the problems caused by conventional weapons.
Secondly, strengthening national responsibility. Countries concerned should bear the primary responsibilities in combating the illicit flow of conventional weapons, establish and improve relevant laws, and regulations and strengthen law enforcement in line with their national conditions. Major arms exporting countries should take the lead by adopting a responsible arms export policy, refrain from interfering in other countries' internal affairs by exporting arms to non-state actors, stop using arms sales as political tools, be prudent towards exporting arms to areas in conflicts and turbulence, and prevent legal weapons from being diverted to illegal purposes.
Thirdly, upholding true multilateralism. We should actively support the UN as the main channel in conventional arms control, encourage more countries to join the process, so as to strengthen the universality and effectiveness of relevant treaties. We should also participate in practical cooperation at all levels, and share security dividends to facilitate the achievement of the Sustantiable Development Goals.
Fourthly, strengthening coordination among different mechanisms. We should strengthen coordination, cooperation and information sharing among relevant UN mechanisms on conventional arms control including the UN Register of Conventional Arms (UNRCA) and the UN Programme of Action on Illicit Small Arms and Light Weapons (PoA), so as to forge a mutually complementary and reinforcing architecture.
China stands ready to cooperate with all states to achieve new progress in conventional arms control, and make unremitting efforts to build a world of lasting peace and universal security.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.