|Statement by Ambassador Wu Haitao at Security Council Meeting on Mine Action|
China would like to thank you, Mr. President, for convening today’s meeting. We also thank Assistant Secretary-General Zouev for his briefing.
In recent years, thanks to the joint efforts of the international community, progress has been made in international mine action. The harrowing problems of landmines have been mitigated in some countries and regions. Last year, the Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 2365 (2017), fully demonstrating the priority that the international community attaches to mine action. China welcomes the Secretary-General’s report to the Security Council on a comprehensive approach to mine action (S/2018/623). We also commend the efforts of the United Nations to address the threat of landmines, explosive remnants of war and improvised explosive devices (IEDs), and encourage the United Nations to continue to play a major role in that regard. We believe that the Organization’s efforts in this area are of great importance to realizing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 and are also in line with the concept of a community of shared future for mankind that China has been advocating.
At present, dozens of countries throughout the world are facing the threat of landmines and other explosives. In certain countries and regions, local wars and armed conflicts have led to more suffering caused by landmines, while IEDs have already become a tool for terrorists and extremists to spread terror and violence in recent years. Strengthening international assistance and cooperation in mine action will help to greatly reduce the threat posed by landmines and other explosives to civilian lives and property, safeguard peacekeeping missions and realize the SDGs.
China maintains that to strengthen international assistance and cooperation in mine action and to effectively mitigate humanitarian concerns related to landmines and other explosives, the international community should focus on the following four points. First, it is important to respect the differences among countries with regard to security environments and military strength by addressing the humanitarian concerns and legitimate national military and security needs in a balanced fashion. Secondly, it is imperative to fully take into consideration the national conditions and needs of landmine-affected countries and to provide them with assistance and cooperation based on the realities on the ground. Thirdly, we must build the capacities of mine-affected countries in order to enable them to transition from reliance on external assistance to self-reliance, for the most part. Fourthly, it is crucial to focus on improving the practical results of demining assistance and cooperation and to continue to find new avenues for international cooperation.
China has always paid great attention to the humanitarian concerns associated with landmines. As a past victim, we feel very strongly about the hardships of mine-affected countries. China has actively supported international legal instruments, including the Geneva Conventions 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), as well as resolution 2365 (2017). China is a high contracting party to the CCW and its five Additional Protocols. We faithfully fulfill our obligations under those instruments. China has also actively participated as an observer in the Convention on Cluster Munitions and the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction. China is firmly committed to the cause of international humanitarian demining assistance. China has offered demining assistance to more than 40 countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America by providing demining equipment and personnel training. In September 2015, at the seventieth session of the General Assembly, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced at the Leaders’ Summit on Peacekeeping that China would launch 10 demining assistance programs within the next five years. All of those programs have been implemented ahead of schedule. As we speak, China is hosting a humanitarian demining training workshop for Laos in Nanjing, China. In the second half of the year, we plan to train 80 Cambodian deminers in China. We will also donate humanitarian demining supplies to those two countries. China attaches great importance to humanitarian concerns arising from the abuse of IEDs by non-State actors. We support efforts to find a reasonable and viable solution within the CCW framework. China strictly administers the production, sales, procurement, import and export, storage and transport of explosives through a series of laws and regulations. As an active participant in the development of the United Nations IED-disposal standards, China, with the assistance of the United Nations Mine Action Service, has co-chaired the Working Group with Belgium and has drafted some of its important chapters. We hope that the standards will help United Nations peacekeeping operations to improve their skills and ability to dispose of IEDs and that it will be used voluntarily by the international community as a reference. As always, China stands ready to fulfill its international obligations and provide assistance to the best of its ability as people in mine-affected countries and regions strive to rebuild their homes. We join the international community in making our contribution to addressing the humanitarian concerns arising from landmines and other explosive devices.
Thank you, Mr. President.