The Chinese government is committed to fighting against illicit trade in small arms and light weapons, and calls for improved legal system as well as enhanced law enforcement in this regard, a Chinese UN envoy said Tuesday.
The statement came as Wang Min, China’s deputy permanent representative to the UN, was speaking at the general debate of a UN meeting to review the action to check the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons all over the world, which opened here on Monday.
“Governments should establish and improve on their legal system regarding manufacturing, possession, transfer and stockpiling of small arms and light weapons in the light of their national conditions,” said Wang. “At the same time, state sovereignty should be fully respected, and the right of each state to legally manufacturing and transferring small arms and light weapons should not be affected.”
The review meeting is known as the Second UN Conference to Review Progress in the implementation of the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects. It will run through September 7.
Noting China’s progress over the past decade in the fight against illicit trade of small arms, Wang said that China has developed and continuously updated its national laws and regulation.
“The research and development, manufacturing, stockpiling, transportation, possession, use, transfer and destruction of small arms and light weapons have been put under strict regulation,” he said. “China has adopted a wide range of export control measures including export licensing and end-user certification.”
On capacity building, Wang said that the Chinese government has carried out strict regulation over manufacturing, stockpiling, use, transportation, trade and confiscation of small arms and light weapons according to law, and standardised the administrative examination and approval procedures.
Meanwhile, Wang stressed that governments should assume primary responsibilities in the fight against small arms and light weapons with the UN continuing to play a leading role.
In addition, international coordination and cooperation should be further enhanced. “Different regions should map out their priorities in accordance with their realities, and strengthen intraregional communication, coordination and cooperation, in particular those between law enforcement agencies,” he said.
According to the Small Arms Survey, there are estimated 875 million small arms in circulation worldwide, produced by more than 1,000 companies from nearly 100 countries.
In 2001, the Programme Actions to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons was adopted with a bid to answer the threat millions of people faced around the world.
The first review conference took place in 2006.