Remarks by H.E. Ambassador LI Song on the Conclusion of Chinese Presidency of the Conference on Disarmament
2022-02-18 21:20

Palais des Nations, February 18, 2022


Dear colleagues,

Before the conclusion of the Chinese Presidency, please allow me to share with you some of my thoughts.

First of all, I'd like to express my heartfelt thanks to all delegations for your support and help to me and my team during our Presidency.

In the first Plenary Meeting of this year, the Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister H.E. Mr. Wang Yi delivered a message to the Conference, in which he fully expressed China's confidence and support to the Conference. He stressed that in the new area, the status and role of the Conference have become more prominent. He also called on all CD members to make efforts under the principle of mutual respect and consensus, and to revitalize the Conference, seek purpose solutions on the basis of undiminished security for all, and achieve universal, sustainable and common security. Based on this understanding, my team and I have, over the past four weeks, put our best efforts to make China's contribution to advancing series tasks on our shoulders.

First, we actively encouraged and guided across an exchange of views among delegations on how to view the Conference and how to advance its work in light of the current international security landscape. It is widely recognized that the Conference does not operate in a vacuum or can be detached from international political and security realities. Members of the Conference need to face the reality and look into the future from a higher and broader strategic perspective, if we want to answer the call of the times and work in a forward-looking, open and innovative way, and therefore identifying new approaches and consensus which truly meet the general security interests of all the CD members.

Secondly, we also worked actively to de-politicize the work of the Conference, so as to bring the Conference back to the healthy and professional track. Thanks to the collective efforts of all delegations, we have successfully settled the question of non-member States’ participation in the Conference by approving all 39 requests from non-member States, without any exception. This move has laid a good foundation for a smooth start of the serious work this year, and has been well received by the international community. In this process, all delegations have fully demonstrated goodwill, patience, confidence, and respect. This is the best example of true multilateralism in action. It is a victory for the Conference, and a victory for true multilateralism.

Thirdly, we have made fresh and important attempts to adopt a both comprehensive & balance, and clear & concise Programme of Work, which resulted in very gratifying progress. The draft Decision presented by China on behalf of P6 in CD/WP.639/Rev.1 has received the broad support among member States. We based our efforts on reviewing the past successes and failures over the recent years, and squarely facing the fact that CD has not been able to commence any negotiation on any agenda items for a long period of time. We then identified on that basis, a practical course of action in setting up subsidiary bodies to carry substantive work, with the aim to “keep the CD moving”. In this process, it has become clear to all of us that a Programme of Work by itself cannot bridge all the differences. Only a streamlined approach providing a comprehensive and balanced fundamental framework, which contributes to maximizing our common ground setting aside our differences, can lay a firm foundation for the orderly and gradual progress in our work.

Dear colleagues,

The Chinese presidency was also accompanied by the Beijing Winter Olympics. All the countries which made their names to the Olympic medal table are CD members or observers. Indeed, we are all inspired by the Olympic spirit and progress in the Beijing Winter Olympic Games. I'd like to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt thanks to all parties which have actively supported or participated in the Beijing Winter Olympic Games. I'd also like to congratulate colleagues for the excellent results that your athletes have achieved.

Dear colleagues,

If you take a walk in the streets of Geneva, you might have noticed the Irish Pub, which has a banner saying Uniting the Nations in Geneva. To me, this is what Geneva is supposed to be, a platform for intensifying exchanges, confidence building, and mutually beneficial cooperation among all countries, in advancing true multilateralism. Let's continue our efforts in the future, Uniting the nations in the CD, in a common endeavor to revitalize the CD as our ways to contribute to maintaining international peace, security and stability and advancing the multilateral arms control disarmament and non-proliferation process.

Thank you again for all your support.