(The Hague, 17th July 2013)
First of all, please allow me to welcome you to the Chair of the Executive Council. The Chinese delegation has its high appreciation for your efforts to bridge over different views through consultations. The Chinese delegation will work closely with you and other delegations in contributing to the successful completion of the deliberations of all the agenda items at this session. I would also like to thank the Director-General for his comprehensive and detailed report, and for his contributions to the advancement of the work of this Organization.
China welcomes the membership of Somalia as the 189th State Party of the CWC as of the 29th May 2013. Meanwhile, we hope that the universality of the CWC will be achieved at an early date.
The Chinese delegation associates itself with the statement made by the Iranian Ambassador on behalf of NAM States Parties and China. Now, please allow me to elaborate China's positions as regards the agenda items.
Firstly, in its Political Declaration, the Third Review Conference reaffirmed the determination to destroy all categories of chemical weapons within the shortest time possible, which remains to be the foremost and priority task of this Organization. The OPCW should continue to reinforce its work in this very area. The Secretariat should also continue to focus on this key aspect in its allocation of personnel and other resources.
Secondly, China commends the Third Review Conference for its high attention given to the issue of the disposal of chemical weapons abandoned by Japan in China. Up to date, the pace of work in this connection has been obviously falling behind the schedule as specified in the destruction plan jointly submitted by China and Japan. China urges Japan to implement the relevant decision of the Council and increase its inputs, so as to complete the destruction as early as possible. China and Japan have already jointly invited a Council delegation to visit the Haerbaling Japanese ACW destruction facility from September 9 to 13. Members of the Council are welcome to sign up with the Chairman through the coordinators of the Regional Groups at their earliest convenience.
Thirdly, the Secretariat circulated recently the Matrix of Actionable Items Identified at the Third Review Conference and the non-paper on Knowledge Management Centre. The Chinese delegation commends the Secretariat for its endeavours to bring into action the results of the Third Review Conference. We are ready to have further discussions with other parties concerned on the Matrix in order to make it more refined. We wish to work jointly with others as well in defining in clear terms the scope of work, staff composition, mode of operation, and so on, of the Centre, so that it will provide support to the implementation of the CWC.
Lastly, the Chinese delegation has noted the DG's note on the OPCW 2014 budget. This delegation welcomes the Secretariat's zero-growth target in the budget preparation, and at the same time, we believe that budget reduction is not an end in itself, and that for ensuring the effective operation of this Organization, adequate budgetary inputs in such areas as chemical weapon destruction, verification and international cooperation should be guaranteed.
China has always attached importance to the implementation of the stipulations concerning assistance and protection against chemical weapons as well as international cooperation contained in Article X and Article XI. From June 24 to 28, China and the Secretariat jointly held an advanced assistance and protection course. Attended by 20 participants from 19 states, the course has proved to be a success. In early September this year, China will, once again, offer training in chemical engineering to two interns from African countries under the OPCW Program for Africa. As always, China will continue to strengthen its cooperation with the OPCW in promoting the full implementation of Articles X and XI.
Mr. Chairman, I am confident that under your able guidance, this session will proceed smoothly with a fruitful outcome.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.