|Remarks by Ambassador Geng Shuang at Security Council Briefing on Small Arms and Light Weapons|
I wish to thank Ms. Izumi Nakamitsu for her briefing. I listened carefully to the presentations made by Lt. General Abdulgadir and Mr. Lochead.
The illicit flow, excessive accumulation and the wanton misuse of Small Arms and Light Weapons aggravate conflicts, hinder sustainable development, bolster terrorism and transnational organized crimes and threaten international peace and development. At the same time, the illicit flow of Small Arms and Light Weapons also makes it more difficult for peace operations to perform their duties, exacerbate the security risks in the mission areas of peace operations and threaten the safety of UN personnel. To address these problems, China wishes to state the following:
First, the countries concerned should bear the primary responsibilities. Member States should establish and improve their laws and regulations according to the national conditions, enhance supervision and regulation of arms and ammunition, strengthen border control and make every effort to prevent the Small Arms and Light Weapons flowing into illegal channels. The states also need to effectively take the responsibility of regulating the illicit flow of Small Arms and Light Weapons. The Member States should strictly implement the Security Council resolutions of arms embargo, refrain from transferring or selling weapons to countries under the arms embargo, and earnestly fulfill their international obligations.
Second, the United Nations should play an active role. Preventing conflicts and maintaining peace is the important responsibilities of the UN. The peace operations should perform their duties in strict accordance with their mandates, and on the basis of respecting the sovereignty and fully listening to the wishes of the hosting countries. They should support the capacity building of the hosting countries, and help strengthen their regulation of Small Arms and Light Weapons. China attaches great importance to the report of the Secretary-General on Small Arms and Light Weapons, and also supports the Secretary-General and relevant UN agencies in continuing to work hard for this. We hope the Program of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons and the International Tracing Instrument will be fully and effectively implemented by all states.
Thrid, new technologies should be fully utilized. The new materials and technologies make the manufacture, design and flow of Small Arms and Light Weapon much easier, and add difficulties in their tracing, supervision and regulation. The peace operations should capitalize on new technologies to pay close attention to the flow of Small Arms and Light Weapons in the mission areas, effectively strengthen the early warning and emergency response capabilities of peacekeeping missions, ensure the safety of peacekeepers and minimize the risks resulting from the illicit flow of Small Arms and Light Weapons.
Fourth, promoting development should be put on the agenda of the issue. Development is the key to solving problems. The international community should help the hosting countries to tackle poverty and backwardness, promote economic development, maintain social stability, achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and eliminate the triggers of Small Arms and Light Weapons issue. The Global Development Initiative proposed by President Xi Jinping at the General Debate of the 76th session of the UNGA provides an impetus to helping countries recover from the pandemic, promote stronger, greener and healthier development, and broaden the space for international development cooperation. Countries around the world are welcome to join this initiative.
China always attaches great importance to addressing the illicit flow of Small Arms and Light Weapons, and is prudent and responsible in their export. China joined the Arms Trade Treaty in July 2020 and submitted its initial report recently. This reflects China’s responsible attitude of actively participating in the governance of global arms trade and maintaining international peace and security.
China actively engages international cooperation with other developing countries to combat the illicit flow of Small Arms and Light Weapons, and provides assistance to foreign countries within its capacity, including the establishment of the China-Africa Peace and Security Cooperation Fund under the China-UN Peace and Development Fund to support the initiative of “Silencing the Guns”.
Combating the illicit flow of Small Arms and Light Weapons and building a world with lasting peace, universal security and freedom from the violence of guns is the common wish of all peoples. China stands ready to work with the international community to take overarching and comprehensive measures to combat the illicit flow of Small Arms and Light Weapons and continue to make efforts to ensure the smooth implementation of peace operations and safeguard international peace and security.
Thank you, Mr. President.