Please allow me, at the outset, to welcome you to the Chair of the Executive Council (Council). The Chinese delegation will work closely with you, and with other delegations, in a joint effort to bring the deliberations of all the agenda items of this session to a successful conclusion.
The Chinese delegation associates itself with the statement made by H. E. the Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran on behalf of the NAM CWC States Parties and China. Now, I would like to elaborate further China’s positions as regards the agenda items.
Firstly, the Chinese delegation wishes to thank the Director-General for his overall report on the progress on the elimination of the Syrian chemical weapons (CWs). Since the adoption of the relevant decision by the Council on September 27 last year, the elimination of the Syrian CWs has now yielded interim success. By June 30, all of the declared CWs had been removed out of Syria, and those in Syria as well as the CW-related equipment had been destroyed. Such progress has been made in the face of a variety of uncertainties, particularly that of the security situation in Syria, and is thus hard-earned. China welcomes it, and commends the Syrian government, the OPCW, the OPCW-UN Joint Mission and all the other parties involved for the positive efforts they have made. As the first following the deadline of June 30, this session of the Council should conduct a fair and objective assessment of the work carried out so far, and create favourable conditions for addressing subsequent issues regarding the Syrian CWs, including the destruction outside Syria and the CW production facilities. China has consistently supported the elimination of the Syrian CWs, and made its contributions to it. China is prepared to take a pragmatic approach and work with all other parties for the thorough and complete elimination at an early date.
Secondly, the CW destruction constitutes a core object of the Convention and a chief objective of this organization. The CW possessor states and abandoning states should work to complete the destruction as soon as possible, in accordance with the requirements of the Convention and the relevant decisions adopted by the OPCW policy-making organs. The OPCW should ensure continued inputs in this aspect. As an ACW victim, China attaches particular importance to the destruction of Japanese ACWs. It is now nearly 70 years since the war of Japan’s aggression against China, but the huge numbers of Japanese ACWs scattered all around the Chinese territory are still posing a constant threat to the lives and properties of the people and the safety of the environment in China. China expresses deep regret over this reality. It is more worrying that the pace of the ACW destruction process is again falling noticeably behind the schedule in the destruction plan agreed on by the two sides and adopted by the Council at its Sixty-Seventh Session. China once again urges Japan to honour its obligations under the Convention and implement the destruction plan in good faith, and increase its inputs in the process, so as to complete the destruction as quickly as possible.
Thirdly, China always pays great attention to the national implementation of the Convention, which it believes is of a far-reaching significance for its full and effective implementation. Meanwhile, it is China’s consistent view that national implementation should proceed steadily, with full account taken of the actual circumstances of all States Parties. China regards the Mentorship Program initiated by the Technical Secretariat for the advancement of national implementation as an effective approach to enhancing national implementation capacities according to the specific requirements of different States Parties. I would like to take this opportunity to announce that China is willing to participate in the program, and join the Technical Secretariat in assisting other States Parties in enacting and improving legislations and setting up institutions for national implementation. Interested States Parties are welcome to present their requirement proposals. China will also make presentations on and share with others its implementation practices and experience through various events, such as seminars.
Fourthly, China has all along devoted itself to the promotion of the universality of the Convention. China appeals to States not Parties to sign or ratify the Convention at an early date. In last April and May, China invited representatives from Myanmar to participate in the OPCW-related seminar and training course. On the occasions, they were engaged in candid and in-depth dialogues, to the effect of urging their country to ratify the Convention as early as possible. China is prepared to continue its efforts for the same purpose.
I would like to take this opportunity to express China’s opinion on the work of the fact-finding mission for investigating suspect chemical attacks in Syria.
China has attached full importance to the work of the mission, and supported the DG in sending it to Syria to investigate the suspect attacks. Chinese experts have also taken part in the work in a substantive way. After the mission came under attack, China has repeatedly condemned the assault.
Now that the Technical Secretariat issued the mission’s summary work report recently, China regrets the fact that the mission was unable to carry on with its field investigation due to the attack against it, and that, as a result, it has been impossible to draw a definite conclusion. It is hoped that the Technical Secretariat will carry the work of the mission forward in a fair, objective and professional manner, and that the parties concerned will make genuine efforts, take necessary measures and cooperate with one another, so as to ensure the safety of the team personnel and the smooth conduct of the investigation.
As a major State Party to the Convention, China has always given utmost attention to the work relating to its implementation, and has, through hosting multiple meetings and training courses, worked to promote international and regional cooperation in the implementation and in the use of chemistry for peaceful purposes. In last April, China held the Seminar on Chemical Safety and Security in Asia in Beijing, and in last May, hosted another advanced course on protection and assistance. China will maintain its inputs and work jointly with the Technical Secretariat and other sides in this area, with a view to making greater contributions to the realization of the objects and purposes of the Convention.
The Chinese delegation would appreciate it if this statement would be circulated as an official document of this session.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.