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Statement by Ambassadress Xue Hanqin,Permanent Representative of China to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, at the 49th Session of the Executive Council

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(June 26, 2007, The Hague)

Mr. Chairman,

First of all, please allow me, on behalf of the Chinese delegation, to welcome you to the chair for this EC session. I am confident that with your abundant diplomatic experience, you will guide this session to a successful conclusion. The Chinese delegation will offer you full cooperation, so as to help ensure the completion of all the proceedings at the this session. I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to your predecessor Ms. Hlengiwe Buhle Mkhize, respected Ambassadress of South Africa, for her efforts made in the past year and for her contributions to the work of the Council.

I would also like to thank Director-General Mr. Pfirter for the comprehensive report of work he just presented. Meanwhile, I fully concur with the statement made by the respected Cuban Ambassador Oscar de los Reyes Ramos on behalf of the NAM States Parties and China. Now, I would like to further elaborate on China's views on some issues.

Mr. Chairman,

The comprehensive, complete, timely and irreversible destruction of chemical weapons stockpiles is the core mandate and the ultimate object of the Convention. It is also the most urgent task facing the OPCW now. In the past ten years since the entry into force of the Convention, the CW destruction process has been moving steadily ahead, and has yielded remarkable progress. But formidable challenges remain: the overall destruction progress hasn't fully met what is required by the Convention; the destruction process of the chemical weapons of a certain state is falling behind the deadline, owing to unforeseen technical problems; and the major CW possessor states still face daunting tasks in their destructions. A proper response to these challenges is crucial to the preservation of the authority and credibility of the Convention. We urge all the possessor states, especially the major ones, to heighten their awareness of the importance of the destruction deadlines, increase their sense of urgency, and intensify their inputs, so as to ensure the destruction of all CW stockpiles within the deadlines stipulated by the Convention.

Mr. Chairman,

The selection methodology for OCPF inspection is an important and complex subject that involves a wide range of issues. Thanks to the field practice for years by the Secretariat, as well as long-standing consultations and discussions among States Parties, the understanding among all sides of the methodology has now been much deepened. In this aspect, we would like to thank the facilitator of this item, Mr. Luis Garcia from Spain, for his great efforts. We admire him for his solid expertise on this subject, and for his tireless attempts at finding a solution. But given the complexity of this issue, the full reflection of the three elements, as required by the Convention, in the selection methodology for OCPF inspection remains an important task for States Parties to deal with. Nobody should easily give up on it when faced with difficulties and setbacks in the consultation. We have noted the recent initiative by the DG on this issue. We hope that all parties will take an earnest, practical and constructive approach and carry on with the consultation.

As regards the inspection frequency for the facilities of different Schedules of chemicals, we still expect the Secretariat to submit further explanatory documents. China will continue to actively involve itself in the consultation, alongside all other parties.

Mr. Chairman,

China has carefully reviewed the report (EC-48/DG.12) submitted by the DG on the implementation of Article XI in 2006. We appreciate the positive results achieved by the Secretariat in advancing the international cooperation for peaceful purposes in the field of chemistry. We believe that the information exchange, training and cooperation projects jointly conducted by the Secretariat and States Parties have played a positive role in enhancing the capability of States Parties in the peaceful use of chemical science and technology. Meanwhile, we see a certain gap between what's been achieved and what is expected by the developing countries, which requires more attention and inputs by all sides. We are looking forward to the comprehensive implementation of this Article based on consensus and intensified cooperation among all parties. China is ready to contribute to this process.

Mr. Chairman,

The earliest-possible and complete destruction of the chemical weapons abandoned by Japan in China has always been a major concern of the Chinese government and people. Through the joint efforts by China and Japan, some progress has been made on this issue. Last April, in response to China's proposal, Japan agreed to introduce mobile-type destruction system for destruction operations. China welcomes this, and hopes that Japan will soon carry it out, and launch the substantive destruction process as soon as possible.

Mr. Chairman,

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Ambassador of Germany, Mr. Alexander Petri, who will leave office soon, for the contributions he has made for years to this Organization. Meanwhile, I wish to welcome his successor, Ambassador Burkart. I look forward to having excellent cooperation with him in the future.

In closing, I wish this EC session a full success.

Thank you.

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