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Remarks by Ambassador Geng Shuang at the UN Security Council Briefing on 1540 Committee

2024-03-26 17:00

Madam President, 

I would like to thank the chairman of 1540 Committee Ambassador José Javier De La Gasca for the briefing. Over the past year, the Committee, under the leadership of Ambassador Gasca, has actively carried out its work, strengthened its communications with parties, facilitated the appointment of candidates to the group of experts, and made important efforts and contributions towards the implementation of Resolution 1540 and international cooperation on non-proliferation. China expresses its appreciation. 

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the adoption of Security Council Resolution 1540. As the first Council resolution dedicated to the non-proliferation issue, Resolution 1540 is of landmark significance in preventing non-state actors from acquiring nuclear weapons and other WMDs. It is an important pillar of international non-proliferation efforts. Over the past two decades, thanks for joining efforts of the international community, the international consensus on non-proliferation has continued to expand, the non-proliferation capabilities of countries have been continuously upgraded, the International non-proliferation regime has been further improved, and the cooperation and exchanges have been increasingly advanced.  

At the same time, against the backdrop of deteriorating international strategic security environment, the intensification of geopolitical conflicts, and frequent occurrence of regional hotspot issues, the threat to international peace and security posed by the proliferation of WMDs has continued to grow. For some time now, there have been frequent terrorist attacks around the world, dealing a serious blow to peace and stability in the countries and regions concerned. The shocking terrorist attack that took place in the Moscow region in Russia a few days ago created a heavy casualties. The scene at the attack site was horrific. These bloodstained facts show that the threat of terrorism remains serious. The risk of terrorists perpetrating evil and committing crimes is far from being eliminated. The consequences of WMDs falling into the hands of terrorists is inconceivable. There is still a long way to go and much to do in combating terrorism and preventing terrorists from acquiring WMDs. The international community should take the 20th anniversary of the adoption of Resolution 1540 as an opportunity to take stock of lessons learned, strengthen exchanges and cooperation, and promote new progress in international non-proliferation efforts. To this end, China would like to share the following observations. 

First, efforts should be made to strengthen the existing international non-proliferation regime. The international community should further strengthen the universality and authority of the NPT, BWC, and CWC, and ensure that the above-mentioned treaties and Council Resolution 1540 are implemented in a comprehensive, effective, and balanced manner. The 1540 Committee, in light of the new situations and new challenges, should continue to play its role effectively. 

Second, capacity building in member states should be promoted. National governments bear the primary responsibility for non-proliferation. The international community should fully support all countries in formulating non-proliferation policies in accordance with their national conditions, encourage them to continue to strengthen capacity building in terms of non-proliferation and law enforcement. At the same time, full consideration should be given to the realistic needs of different countries, so as to carry out more targeted international cooperation assistance that can help them address and make up for the inadequacies in the field of non-proliferation. 

Third, efforts should be made to effectively safeguard the rights to peaceful uses. The use of science and technology for peaceful purposes and related international cooperation are the inedible rights of all countries established by the NPT and other international treaties. The international community, while striving towards the non-proliferation objectives, should work to remove restrictions on peaceful uses by developing countries, promote international cooperation in peaceful uses, reject double standards and discriminatory arrangements in the field of non-proliferation, and promote the multilateral export control mechanism to move in a direction that is more just, more inclusive, and non-discriminatory.  

Fourth, close attention should be paid to the potential risks and challenges associated with emerging science and technology. The explosive development of AI is a double-edged sword, opening up new prospects for human production and life, while also bringing new challenges to human survival and security. Non-state actors if in possession of AI and WMDs, could pose an extreme risk of proliferation and would have catastrophic consequences. The international community must ensure that AI technology remains under human control. Efforts should be made to strengthen government regulation, international cooperation, and global governance, so as to effectively prevent and eliminates the risk of non-state actors misusing emerging technologies to undertake proliferation activities. 

Madam President, 

The 1540 points of contact have the dual function of internal communication and coordination and external cooperation, thus contributing in a significant way to the effective implementation of Resolution 1540. In June this year, in accordance with established practices, China will organize and deliver another training course for the Asia Pacific national points of contact in cooperation with the 1549 Committee and the UN ODA, with a view of facilitating the sharing of policies and the best practices in the area of legislation and law enforcement, export control, and combating illicit trafficking. It is our hope that this event will serve as a new platform for countries in Asia Pacific to engage in exchanges and mutual learning and deepen cooperation on non-proliferation issues. 

China firmly opposes the proliferation of WMDs and their means of delivery. China has always strictly fulfilled its international obligations on non-proliferation, promoted political settlement of hotspot non-proliferation issues, earnestly implemented Resolution 1540, and actively participated in international cooperation on this issue. We stand ready to work with all parties to continue to promote the complete prohibition and destruction of WMDs, in order to achieve a universal and common security for all. 

Thank you, Madam President.

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