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

(October 6, The Hague)

Mr. Chairman,

The Chinese delegation would like, first of all, to welcome you back to the Chair of the Executive Council (Council). The Chinese delegation will, as always, support you in your work, so as to make a joint effort for bringing the deliberations of all the agenda items of this session to a successful conclusion. My delegation thanks the Director-General and all the Vice-Chairpersons of the Council for their reports. We would also like to welcome Ambassador Hamid Ali Rao to he office of Deputy Director-General of the OPCW. China associates itself with the statement made by the Iranian Ambassador on behalf of the NAM States Parties and China. Now, I would like to elaborate further China's position on the following issues.

Firstly, we should draw on collective wisdom and listen to all useful opinions of State Parties in conducting vigorous, steady and sound deliberations on the future priorities of the OPCW. The Chinese delegation commends the Secretariat for the efforts which it has actively made in this regard, and thanks the Director-General for having called the recent Ambassadors' Retreat. Since the discussions on the future priorities will exert an impact on the authority and prospect of this Organization, and they involve political, legal, technical, staffing, financial and other aspects, States Parties should fully engage themselves and play a leading role. We should proceed from the improvement of this Organisation's efficiency and effectiveness as the starting point and handle the relations of the different pillar regimes of the Convention in a balanced manner. In this regard, China supports the proposal by the NAM States Parties for the establishment of a working group. And we should carry out decision-making on the basis of in-depth evaluations and extensive discussions, and in an open, transparent and democratic fashion. We should also ensure that chemical disarmament, in particular, the destruction of Japanese ACWs, keeps its core status and remains as a priority goal.

Secondly, increase inputs so as to effectively improve the grave situation of the destruction of Japanese ACWs falling behind schedule. The complete, timely and thorough destruction of Japanese ACWs represents a legal obligation incumbent on Japan, and, at the same time, constitutes part of the core work of this Organisation. 70 years have passed since the victory of the Anti-Fascist World War and of the Chinese People's War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression. However, chemical weapons abandoned by Japan on the territory of China still pose a real threat and harm to the Chinese people's lives and properties. If Japanese ACWs cannot be eliminated as soon as possible, it will be difficult to realize the goal of a world free from CWs. China expresses hereby its profound anxiety and dissatisfaction over the situation of the destruction of Japanese ACWs falling far behind schedule. China urges Japan to increase its inputs further and accelerate the destruction process. China requests the Council and other Convention-related decision-making organs to pay continued attention to this issue and fulfil their reporting and reviewing duties effectively. And China hopes that the Secretariat will make sure that there are adequate resources and capacity allocations available for carrying out effective verification and monitoring. China will also continue to provide necessary assistance and support.

Thirdly, we should take a constructive approach to handling the issue of the Syrian CWs properly. Thanks to the concerted efforts of all the parties concerned, the process of the elimination of the Syrian CWs has continued to press ahead, with positive progress registered. China hopes that the Syrian government and the Secretariat will carry on with their cooperation and work to clarify the outstanding issues concerning the Syrian CW declarations. China supports the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) in carrying out, as mandated, its work objectively and impartially. China is firmly opposed to the use of CWs by anyone under any circumstances, and supports the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism in fulfilling its duty in an objective, impartial and professional manner while respecting Syria's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Fourthly, we should take into consideration of all factors and concerns of all State Parties for the progressive improvement of the industry verification regime. In the 18 years of its operation, this Organization has accumulated a full set of effective regimes and practices in the area of industry verification. Under the new circumstances, China believes that the national authorities for CWC implementation should further tap their potentials in such areas as legislation, regulation, declaration and verification, and earnestly fulfill their international obligations and responsibilities. In the framework of the Convention, the Technical Secretariat should seek to optimize the distribution of resources, perform sampling and analysis in a rational way, and resolve the outstanding issues properly. Since the various proposals made outside the framework of the Convention are quite complex, it is advisable to act prudently and engage in full deliberations and consultations, and leave it to the decision-making organs of this Organization to make the final decisions.

Fifthly, taking account of the reality and the long-term prospect, we should strive to maintain a highly qualified, efficient and professional inspection force. Our inspection force plays an indispensably essential role in verification and monitoring. While downsizing is not an end in itself, rational allocation is more important. We should maintain such a staff of a moderate and adequate size, so that they will effectively undertake the sacred responsibilities entrusted by the Convention. We should adopt an open and fair approach to the recruitment of inspectors, which should be well based on their professional skills and on the principle of geographic balance. And we should attach greater importance to capacity-building and do a better job in training, knowledge management and emergency response.

Sixthly, we should strengthen international cooperation and pay due attention to the legitimate rights and interests and the reasonable aspirations of the developing countries. On the basis of the relevant decisions of the Sixteenth Session of the Conference and of the Third Review Conference, and with capacity-building as a starting point, we should actively plan international cooperation programs as a whole and optimize them. We should further explore solutions to ease and remove restrictions on the transfer of chemicals. And we should launch a new round of consultation on international cooperation as soon as practicable based on proposals put forward by States Parties, and make efforts to raise the level and standards of international cooperation. Last month, China conducted consecutively the first Assistance and Protection Workshop for Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar and its Internship Program for African States Parties. China is prepared to continue to play its active role in international cooperation.

Mr. Chairman,

The 2016 Programme and Budget is an important item on the agenda of this session. The Chinese delegation is happy to note that in a flexible and pragmatic spirit, and through candid communications and consultations conducted on an equal footing, all the parties have basically reached a consensus on budgetary matters. My delegation believes that reasonable and appropriate budgetary provisions are essential to the fulfilment of all its duties by the Secretariat. At the same time, budgeting should also be carried out according to our ability. It is hoped that the Secretariat will continue to give due regard to the proposals and feedbacks from States Parties and work to improve and refine the result-based budgetary management.

Mr. Chairman,

China welcomes the constant enhancement of the universality of the Convention and calls on remaining States not Party to act promptly and accede to the Convention at an early date.

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.

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