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Statement by Ambassador ZHANG Yishan, Deputy Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations, at Security Council Open Debate on Small Arms

2006-03-20 00:00

Mr. President,

First of all, I wish to thank you for arranging this meeting. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank your delegation for your efforts in consultations on the draft resolution on small arms and light weapons (SALW). My delegation will continue to take part in the discussions constructively.

Mr. President,

The excessive accumulation and illicit trafficking of SALW have exacerbated warfare in certain countries and regions, disrupted peace processes and the smooth operation of post-conflict reconstruction, and bolstered terrorism, drug trafficking and other criminal activities, causing negative political, economic and social impacts.

In recent years, the United Nations and the international community have both given attention to the issue of SALW, and made many efforts and achieved some progress in seeking solutions. Firearms Protocol of the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime and the UN Programme of Action (PoA) against the Illicit Trade of SALW were concluded in 2001, which have provided legal and policy basis for the settlement of SALW issue. In 2003 and 2005, two UN biennial meetings on the implementation of the PoA were held successfully to further enhance comprehensive implementation of the PoA. The international instrument on marking and tracing of illicit SALW concluded in 2005 has demonstrated the political will and determination of the international community to fight against illicit SALW. In addition, various international and regional seminars on SALW have played an important role in forming international consensus and increasing exchange of experience and information.

The UN Conference to review progress made in the implementation of the PoA will be held in New York from 26 June to 7 July this year. This meeting will be another milestone in combating illicit trafficking of small arms. We hope that the international community will use this opportunity to help the meeting produce substantial results in the following areas: 1. To further identify the primary responsibility of states in combating illicit trade of SALW, so as to promote States to enhance their capacity and institution building accordingly, strengthen the management and control on SALW, and prevent the outflow of SALW to illegal channels. 2. To press on the implementation of PoA-related follow-up actions, including effectively implementing the international instrument on marking and tracing of illicit SALW, and initiating timely the work of group of government experts on combating the illicit brokering in SALW. 3. To further adopt specific measures, strengthen international coordination and cooperation, and give full play to the leading role of the UN. 4. To continue to encourage the international community to actively help countries concerned in developing economy, eradicating poverty, social injustice and other hidden security hazards, and realizing peace, stability and development, thus removing the root causes of illicit SALW.

Mr. President,

We are glad to note that the SALW issue has received full attention from the Security Council. Several open debates have been held, and a number of president statements adopted. At the same time, the Security Council has stressed the importance of the SALW issue in reviewing protection of civilians, women and children during armed conflicts. This has played an important role in effectively reducing illicit trafficking of SALW, and enhancing regional peace and stability.

China supports the Security Council in continuing to play an important role on the SALW issue according to its mandates. In handling this issue, the Security Council should coordinate with other UN bodies so as to complement and promote each other's work.

Mr. President,

The Chinese Government has all along attached great importance to combating illicit trafficking of SALW. We have taken an active part in the international endeavor in this field. In recent years, China has adopted a series of specific measures in domestic legislation, law enforcement, capacity and institution building. We have earnestly implemented the PoA. At the same time, we have actively participated in international exchange and cooperation through holding international seminars, providing assistance to countries and regions concerned within our capabilities, and keeping regular operational links with departments concerned of other countries and international organizations. We are ready to continue to take part in the international endeavor against illicit trade of SALW in a vigorous and constructive manner.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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