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Statement by Ambassador Chen Xu,Head of the Chinese Delegation, at the Eighty-First Session of the OPCW Executive Council

(15 March, Den Haag)

Mr Chairman,

First of all, please allow me, on behalf of the Chinese delegation, to welcome you back to the Chair of the Executive Council. As always, the Chinese delegation will fully cooperate with you, and with all the other parties, so as to contribute to a successful conclusion of the deliberation of all the agenda items of this session.

The Chinese delegation wishes to thank the Director-General for his report on the work of the Secretariat and the vice chairpersons for their reports on the activities conducted under their respective clusters of issues. My delegation associates itself with the statement made by His Excellency Jahangiri, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Iran on behalf of the NAM States Parties and China. Now, I would like to take this opportunity to elaborate further China's position on the following issues.

Firstly, as the core object of the Chemical Weapons Convention, the destruction of chemical weapons constitutes the first priority of the OPCW. It is also the linchpin for the realization of a world free of chemical weapons. Continued inputs of resources in this area should thus be ensured. China evaluates positively the progress made in the chemical weapons stockpile destruction since the last Council session, and, on the other hand, is highly concerned over the security threat faced by Libya's remaining stockpile and the urgency of its destruction. It is expected that the Director-General will, in accordance with the relevant decision adopted by the Council at its last meeting, explore and evaluate feasible options, so that agreement on a solution will be reached by all the parties as soon as possible.

Turning to the issue of Japanese ACWs in China, the current situation of the destruction of Japanese ACWs lagging behind schedule causes China's grave concern. Given the seriousness and urgency of the problem, China urges Japan to complete the destruction as early as possible, in keeping with its obligation under the Convention and in compliance with the relevant Council decision as well as the plan jointly submitted by China and Japan. China hopes that the Council and the Secretariat will duly perform their reviewing and monitoring duties in this respect, as required by the Convention.

Secondly, the future development of the OPCW is a matter of great significance, and involves the interests and concerns of all sides. As mandated by the Conference of States Parties at its last session, the Council at this session is to set up an open-ended working group on the future development of this Organization. China welcomes it, and hopes that the working group will operate in an open and transparent mode, and work to seek agreement on the basis of consensus among States Parties.

International cooperation constitutes an important item under the subject of the future development. China is in favour of the holding of a workshop on the implementation of Article XI of the Convention as soon as possible, in order to explore effective ways to advance international cooperation systematically and promote the developing nations' capacity-building in chemical industry.

The organizational structure and the size of the staff of the Secretariat have an impact on the successful implementation of the Convention and the effective implementation of important decisions. They should be readjusted accordingly only after the general direction and other matters of principle have been identified and addressed in the context of the future development.

Thirdly, at present, the destruction of the Syrian chemical weapons has been basically completed, and the set goal of the elimination of the Syrian chemical weapons is close to its attainment. This would not have been possible without the concerted efforts made by all the parties concerned, including Syria, other States Parties and the Secretariat. Meanwhile, the work of the DAT is continuing, so is that of the FFM. China maintains that with an objective, equitable and professional approach, efforts should be continued to seek a practical and appropriate solution.

Thank you, Mr Chairman.

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