Statement by Ambassador Wu Ken, Head of the Chinese Delegation, at the Eighty-Third Session of the OPCW Executive Council
The Hague, October 11, 2016
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, my delegation will have full cooperation with you, and with other delegations, in an effort to help bring the deliberation of all the agenda items of this session to a successful conclusion.
The Chinese delegation wishes to thank the Director-General for his report of work, as well as the Vice-Chairpersons for their respective reports. My delegation associates itself with the statement made by the Permanent Representative of Venezuela, Ambassador Haifa Aissami Madah, on behalf of the NAM CWC States Parties and China. Now, please allow me to take this opportunity to elaborate further China’s position and views regarding the following issues.
In the past three years, thanks to the joint efforts made by all the parties concerned, the destruction of the Syrian CWs has yielded important progress. The Secretariat and the Syrian government have also carried out considerable cooperation regarding the Syrian initial declarations. And the investigation of incidents of alleged uses of CWs in Syria has made constant headway. On the other hand, either in terms of the process of a political solution for Syria, or concerning the Syrian CWs, it is hardly possible to have smooth progress, and quite likely to encounter various difficulties. However, the more difficulties would arise, the more necessary it would be to maintain patience and persistence, and to adhere to the general direction of a political settlement, instead of closing the door to cooperation and dialogue rashly. The parties concerned should stay united, shoulder their respective responsibilities, and implement the relevant OPCW decisions and UN Security Council resolutions fully and accurately, so as to bring the issue of the Syrian CWs to a proper solution. As a country which was subjected to the untold sufferings caused by the CWs used by the invading Japanese army, China is strongly against the use of CWs by any state, organization or individual under any circumstances. Whoever uses CWs is reprehensible, and should accordingly be held accountable.
The destruction of CWs of all categories represents the core object of the Chemical Weapons Convention and constitutes the top priority of the OPCW. Although positive progress has been made in the destruction of CW stockpiles, it is regrettable that the pace of the destruction of the Chemical Weapons Abandoned by Japan on the territory of China lags far behind schedule. As the complete and thorough destruction of Japanese ACWs represents a sacred obligation and an international responsibility under the Convention, our lofty goal of a world free from chemical weapons will never be truly achieved so long as the threat posed by Japanese ACWs is yet to be eliminated. Japan indicated at the last Council session that it would be unable to reach the phased target for the destruction for 2016, as specified by the relevant decision made by the Council at its Sixty-Seventh session. China expresses hereby its grave concern over this situation. China urges Japan to implement to the letter its obligations under the Convention as well as the relevant Council decision and present a feasible and practical solution, while speeding up its effort to identify the suspect Japanese ACWs, for the purpose of returning China a clean land at an early date. The OPCW should continue to ensure resources inputs for related verification, and fulfil its reviewing and monitoring duties.
As one of the important pillars of the Convention, international cooperation represents a major concern of the vast number of developing countries. Thanks to the concerted efforts made by all sides, the workshop on the review and evaluation of the status of the implementation of Article XI of the Convention will be held at the end of November. China hopes that all parties will make use of the occasion to take heed of all the views and requirements from the developing countries, and draw up an overall blueprint for the future development of international cooperation, so as to promote the use of chemical science and technology for the full benefit of all nations.
We will usher in the 20th anniversary of the entry into force of the Convention next year. From the perspective of a new historical starting point, the future priorities of the OPCW will constitute an important issue of this Organization. China was pleased to see that the first meeting of the Open-Ended Working Group on the Future Priorities was held successfully, and commends the co-chairpersons of the working group for their work. It is China’s hope that the working group will continue to follow the principle of letting States Parties take the dominant role and the policy-making organs make decisions, perform its work openly and transparently, and deliver results as early as possible for the consideration by the Fourth Review Conference.
It is essential for the Secretariat to function properly and efficiently. China has actively joined in the consultations on the 2017 OPCW Draft Programme and Budget, and commends the Secretariat and all the parties for their efforts. China hopes that the Council will reach a consensus on the Draft Programme and Budget, in order to ensure the smooth operation of the work of this Organization in all its aspects in 2017.
The Chinese delegation requests the circulation of this statement as an official document of this session and its uploading onto the official and internal website of the OPCW.
Thank you, Madame Chairperson.