(The Hague, 17th March 2015)
At the outset, please allow me, on behalf of the Chinese delegation, to welcome you back 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. Ambassador Jahangiri, Permanent Representative of Iran on behalf of the NAM 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 (DG) for his comprehensive report on the progress of the elimination of the Syrian chemical weapons (CWs). Currently, the work of eliminating the Syrian CWs is yielding smooth progress as a whole, giving all the States Parties the hope of seeing this historic task accomplished within this year. China is pleased with the progress, and appreciates the vigorous efforts made by the Syrian government, the OPCW, the United Nations (UN) and all the other parties concerned. Last week, right here, the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs held a workshop on the lessons learned from the multinational maritime transport operation to remove and transport the Syrian chemical weapons. On the occasion, the parties concerned highly evaluated this unprecedented process, conducted practical reviews and summed up the lessons learned. The workshop has been rewarding. China is opposed to the use of CWs by anyone under any circumstances, and is deeply concerned about the alleged chemical attacks in Syria. China will continue to support the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) in its work. The Chinese delegation has taken note of the Future Activities of the OPCW FFM in Syria, recently circulated by the DG’s Office (S/1255/2015), and hopes that the FFM will carry out objective, impartial and professional investigations on the basis of the information provided by the Syrian government and strictly according to its mandate, so as to come up with indisputable evidence and unveil the truth of the incidents as soon as possible.
Secondly, the destruction of all the categories of CWs constitutes the core object of the Convention and the primary purpose of this Organization. The possessor States Parties and Abandoning States Parties concerned should work to complete their destructions as soon as possible, in compliance with the Convention and with the requirements of the relevant decisions of the OPCW policy-making organs. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the victory of both the anti-fascist World War and the War Against Japan’s Aggression in China. While they are bygones now, some evil legacy of the wars has remained in reality. The huge quantities of Japanese ACWs are still posing a constant threat to the lives and properties of the people and the safety of the environment in China, and the pace of the ACW destruction process is repeatedly falling behind the schedule in the destruction plan. With profound regret and a grave concern over this situation, China urges Japan to honour its obligations under the Convention and implement the destruction plan in good faith by increasing its inputs in the process, so as to complete the destruction as quickly as possible. I would also like to point out emphatically that as shown by the detection and testing conducted by two agencies jointly commissioned by China and Japan, the level of dioxin emission from the destruction operation in Shijiazhuang was found to be above the Chinese environmental standard. As a result, the operation has been suspended, and China has requested Japan to find out what caused the problem and resolve it, so that the destruction operation will be resumed at an early day. China and Japan have again invited a delegation of the Council to pay a visit to a Japanese ACW destruction facility in the second week of June this year. Interested States Parties are most welcome to participate.
Thirdly, as a major State Party to the OPCW, China has always attached great importance to the implementation of the Convention in all its aspects. While earnestly fulfilling its obligations of submitting declarations, receiving inspections, updating its protective program, etc, China has actively engaged itself in the exchanges and cooperation in the fields of national implementation, assistance and protection, international cooperation, and education and outreach. China has already participated in the Mentorship Program. In Beijing in May this year, China will host the 13th Annual Meeting of the National Authorities of the State Parties in Asia, and organize as well the first regional event on education and outreach. In September, China will hold the first assistance and protection course for Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar. In addition, China will continue to provide chemical engineering internship for African States Parties this year. China will maintain its inputs in this regard and continue its close cooperation with the Secretariat and other parties concerned, so as to make more contributions to the realization of the object and purpose of the Convention.
I would like to take this opportunity to say a few words about the development and maintenance of the official OPCW website. The official OPCW website represents an important and effective channel through which the National Authorities of States Parties, industries and the general public gain knowledge on the work of the OPCW and obtain other information. Apart from English, the other official languages of this organization as well as the UN, including Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish, also have wide-ranging and large numbers of user groups. The development and maintenance of the web pages in those official languages deserve the high attention from the OPCW. Efforts should thus be made to put in place appropriate mechanisms and maintain adequate inputs, in order to improve the current situation of the information being relatively out of date and enhance effectively the influence of the OPCW on a global scale.
Since this is the last regular session chaired by you during your tenure, I would like to take this opportunity to convey my appreciation and gratitude to you for your outstanding abilities and the excellent work which you performed over the past year.
The Chinese delegation requests the issuance of this statement as an official document of this session and its uploading onto the official OPCW website.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.