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UN General Assembly panel adopts China’s draft arms-control resolution

A woman walks past the United Nations headquarters in New York, the United States, Sept. 14, 2020. (PHOTO / XINHUA)

The First Committee of the 76th United Nations General Assembly passed a draft resolution on arms control submitted by China on Wednesday.

It was the first time in 30 years that China proposed a measure on international arms control and disarmament issues at the UN.

The draft resolution "Promoting International Cooperation on Peaceful Uses in the Context of International Security" says that "all countries have the right to exchange equipment, materials, and science and technology for peaceful purposes, and that all countries should take concrete measures to promote peace while fulfilling their obligations to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery".

The draft resolution also calls for the existing nonproliferation export-control mechanism to remain open and transparent and not to restrict the sustainable development of developing countries.

Geng Shuang, China's deputy permanent representative to the UN, said that the world is undergoing a new round of technological revolution.

"In the face of the technological wave, the peaceful-use rights enjoyed by all countries should be respected and protected," he said.

"Today's existing export-control mechanisms are set up with good original intentions, but they are often abused, leading to interference and restrictions on normal economic, trade and scientific and technological cooperation, and many developing countries suffer from this," Geng said.

The envoy emphasized that the international community should "better handle the relationship between development and security, nonproliferation and peaceful use, implement multilateral arms control treaties in a more comprehensive and balanced manner, and ensure that all countries fully enjoy the legitimate rights of peaceful use without affecting their nonproliferation obligations".

Geng said the draft resolution submitted by China aims to promote the peaceful use of international cooperation, promote the fair performance of the export-control mechanism and promote the UN playing a central role.

Twenty-six countries, including Cuba, Russia, Syria and Pakistan, participated in the joint proposal of China's draft resolution. They stated that ensuring that countries, especially developing countries, enjoy the right to use emerging technologies peacefully will help them accelerate technological development and realize the UN's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

'Correct attitude' lauded

These countries said that the draft resolution submitted by China reflects the demands and concerns of the vast number of developing countries on the issue of peaceful use and "embodies the correct attitude of balancing nonproliferation and peaceful use".

The draft resolution submitted by China would require the UN to initiate an inclusive and transparent process and coordinate the international community in exploring solutions that are in line with the interests of all parties.

The First Committee of the 76th United Nations General Assembly deals with disarmament, global challenges and threats to peace that affect the international community and seeks solutions to the challenges of the international security regime.

The passage of the draft resolution "reflects China's rising influence in the field of international strategic security and demonstrates China's active and constructive attitude in the process of international arms control and disarmament", according to China's Permanent Mission to the UN.