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Remarks by Ambassador Geng Shuang at Security Council Open VTC on 1540 Committee

2021/03/30

Mr. President,

China welcomes the briefing to the Council by Ambassador de la Fuente, Chair of the 1540 Committee, on the work of the Committee, and congratulates him on assuming this important post.

Since last year, the Committee has actively adjusted its work model to minimize the impact of COVID-19. It has done a lot of work and achieved positive results in promoting the implementation of Resolution 1540, advancing comprehensive review process and updating information of implementation of the Resolution by countries. China appreciates efforts made by the Chair, the group of experts and the Secretariat, and hopes that all parties will continue to strengthen communication and cooperation in a constructive manner for the success of Committee's work this year.

Mr. President,

The proliferation of the WMDs and their means of delivery puts international peace and security at stake, posing a common challenge to the international community. Resolution 1540 adopted in 2004 was the first Council resolution dedicated to non-proliferation and is an important part of international non-proliferation regime. Over the past 70 years, we have seen deepened international consensus on non-proliferation, constant improvement of the non-proliferation regime and the steady progress of cooperation in this area. At the same time, the risk of proliferation by non state actors is on the rise, the economic and social impact of COVID-19 has also affected international non-proliferation efforts. So the situation remains grave. In view of the current international security situation, especially the developments in the field of non-proliferation, China wishes to make the following propositions to facilitate the comprehensive review of Resolution 1540 and advance international non-proliferation process.

First, achieve non-proliferation goals through multilateralism. The issue of non-proliferation is a global challenge. As such, it cannot be solved without multilateral cooperation and guidance of the UN. All parties should uphold a vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security for the world, accommodate legitimate concerns of all countries, eliminate root causes of proliferation and seek common security. It is imperative to strengthen the collective security mechanism with the UN at its core, uphold the authority of the Council and address non-proliferation issues by political and diplomatic means through dialogue and consultation.

Second, consolidate and improve international non-proliferation regime. The international community should further enhance the universality of the NPT, the Biological Weapons Convention and the Chemical Weapons Convention to ensure their comprehensive, effective and balanced implementation. The 10th Review Conference of the NPT, the ninth Review Conference of BWC and the comprehensive review of Resolution 1540 should be used as opportunities to strengthen these treaties and mechanisms.

Third, pay attention to the proliferation risks brought about by emerging technologies. New technologies such as AI, 3D printing, gene editing and synthetic biology may be used for the proliferation of WMDs and their means of delivery. Countries should strengthen government supervision and carry out international cooperation to effectively prevent non-state actors from abusing new technologies for proliferation activities. At the same time, non-proliferation goals should not be achieved at the expense of scientific and technological progress.

Fourth, strengthen implementation of Resolution 1540 through the comprehensive review. The Committee should have a fair evaluation of the implementation of resolutions by countries through the review and objectively assess the evolving proliferation risks, fully respect the sovereignty of the countries, and support countries in developing priority goals and areas for implementation in accordance with their own international obligations and specific national conditions. More targeted international cooperation is needed to support developing countries in non-proliferation capacity building. Efforts should be made to ensure an open, inclusive and transparent process of comprehensive review, in which all countries, especially developing countries, can participate and have a say.

Mr. President,

China firmly opposes proliferation of WMDs and their means of delivery. China has always fulfilled its international non-proliferation obligation and made contributions to strengthening non-proliferation regime at national, regional and international levels with concrete actions. The Export Control Law of the PRC entered into effect last December. It marks a shift from an administrative model to a law-based model in China's non-proliferation export control. It fully demonstrates China's will and determination to strengthen non-proliferation export control.

China was a pioneer in training national points of contact and has co-organized with the Committee three training workshops for national points of contact in the Asia-Pacific. We are ready to continue to play a role in strengthening capacity building in the Asia-Pacific in resolution implementation to actively participate in international cooperation and exchange in non-proliferation legislation, enforcement, outreach and others. China will continue to work with all parties to promote the effective implementation of Resolution 1540, advance the comprehensive review of the resolution, and make positive contributions to strengthening global governance of non-proliferation.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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