|Statement by Ambassador WU Haitao at the Security Council Briefing on Comprehensive Approach to Mine Action and Explosive Hazard Threat Mitigation|
China wishes to thank you for convening today’s meeting. We thank Assistant Secretary-General Mr. Alexandre Zuev and Ms. Nathalie Nina for their briefings.
In recent years, thanks to the joint efforts of the international community, progress has been made in the area of international mine action. The harrowing problem of landmines has been mitigated in some countries and regions. China appreciates the efforts undertaken by the United Nations in this area.
At present, the international and regional security situation is undergoing complex and profound changes. In many countries and regions affected by war or armed conflict, landmines and explosive remnants of war pose a serious threat to civilian lives and property and impede economic development and social reconstruction. In recent years, improvised explosive devices have become means for terrorists and extremists to carry out their acts of terrorism and violence.
Strengthening international assistance and cooperation in mine action and effectively reducing the threat of landmines and other explosives to civilians and peacekeepers is an important task. China believes that to effectively address the humanitarian concern arising from landmines and other explosives, the international community should observe the following principles.
First, we must adhere to the principle of ensuing a leading role by Member States. It is imperative to fully take into account the national conditions and needs of the landmine-affected countries and continuously improve the capacity and level of the affected countries participating in demining in order to fully leverage their role.
Secondly, we must uphold the principle of balanced treatment. It is important to respect the differences among countries in terms of security environments and military strength by both properly addressing the humanitarian concerns and fully taking into account the legitimate national military and security needs.
Thirdly, we must uphold the principle of results-orientation. It is important to focus on improving the practical results of demining assistance and cooperation, improving the capacity-building of recipient States and promoting a transition from their reliance on external assistance to self-reliance as to the mainstay.
China has always paid great attention to the humanitarian concerns associated with landmines and actively supported international legal instruments, including the Geneva Convention and the Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May Be Deemed to Be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects (CCW). China is a full member of CCW and its five annexed protocols. We faithfully fulfill our obligations under those instruments. For many years, China has maintained close exchanges and cooperation with the contracting parties of Ottawa Convention and has participated as an observer in the Meetings of States parties and its review conferences.
China is actively committed to the international humanitarian demining assistance cause and has, to the best of its ability, provided assistance to the affected countries and victims. Since 1998, the Chinese Government has provided humanitarian assistance worth more than 90 million RMB to nearly 40 countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America in the forms of demining equipment, technology training as well as donations. It has trained nearly 500 professional demining technicians. In September 2015, Chinese President Mr. Xi Jinping announced at the Leaders’ Summit on Peacekeeping, during the seventieth session of the General Assembly, that China would in the next five years launch 10 demining assistance programs. At present China is actively honoring this commitment and implementing the related programs.
China attaches great importance to the humanitarian concerns arising from the abuse of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) by non-State actors. We support the discussion of IEDs within the framework of the Amended Landmine Protocol II to the CCW. We are ready for a useful exchange of views with the parties concerned. Chinese experts and the United Nations, among others, are jointly formulating the United Nations IED Disposal Standards and China, in the capacity of the co-chair, hosted the first Meeting of the Group of Experts last March in Beijing.
China fully understands the aspirations of landmine-affected countries and peoples for security and development. We are ready to fulfill our international obligations, as always, and provide assistance to the best of our ability. We are ready to join the international community in addressing the humanitarian concerns arising from landmines and other explosive devices.
Thank you, Mr. President.