A career diplomat, Mr. Sha Zukang became the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs on 1 July, 2007. As such, he headed the Department of Economic and Social Affairs until 2012, which is responsible for the follow-up to the major United Nations Summits and Conferences, and services the Economic and Social Council and the Second and Third Committees of the General Assembly. He also chairs the United Nations Executive Committee on Economic and Social Affairs. He is a graduate of Nanjing University, China.
Mr. Sha Zukang has varied experience with multilateral organizations and international conferences. He was Coordinator of the Like-Minded Group of the Commission on Human Rights and the Human Rights Council from 2004 to 2007, Chairman of the Preparatory Committee and Chairman of the Committee of the Whole, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) 11th session from 2003 to 2004, President of the Trade and Development Board, 50th Session of UNCTAD, Chairperson of the Government group of the Governing Body of the International Labour Organization from 2002 to 2003, and member of the UN Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Disarmament matters from 1994 to 1999. In addition, he has served as president, vice president, chairperson, coordinator and expert in many international conferences in the field of arms control, trade, intellectual property, social affairs, and telecommunications, among others.
Prior to assuming his present position in the United Nations, Mr. Sha Zukang held a number of posts in the diplomatic service of the People’s Republic of China. He established the Department of Arms Control of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China and became its first Director-General. In connection with China's implementation of arms control and human rights treaties, he took charge on many occasions of the coordination between government agencies, military, and civil society in preparing and submitting the implementation reports. He facilitated the on-site inspections by experts and visits by UN working groups and rapporteurs, encouraged the development of Chinese non-governmental organizations, and promoted the opening of offices in China by international organizations.
Mr. Sha Zukang participated, as the representative of the Chinese government, in the negotiation and review of many important international treaties on arms control and disarmament such as Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, Chemical Weapons Convention, Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention, and Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons. He also participated in drafting some major arms control and international security resolutions adopted by the General Assembly and the Security Council. He has championed international security cooperation with a view to maintaining international peace and regional stability and security.
As a senior official of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, he was involved in the settlement of the first Korean nuclear crisis from 1993 to 1994. As the chief advisor to Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan, he worked for the settlement of South Asia nuclear crisis in 1998 and participated in the drafting and negotiation of the P-5 Foreign Ministers' Joint Communiqué. He also contributed to the adoption of the resolution 1172 by the Security Council. As Chinese ambassador, he facilitated the handling of SARS outbreaks by the Chinese government and the World Health Organization in 2003.
Mr. Sha Zukang worked actively to promote China's bilateral arms control cooperation with Russia, the United States, and other countries. As the representative of China, he participated in the negotiation and drafting of the documents with the United States on detargeting of nuclear weapons against each other. He facilitated the issuance of the joint Sino-Russian statement on No-First-Use of Nuclear Weapons and Detargeting of Strategic Nuclear Weapons Against Each Other, in September 1994, and the announcement by the heads of state of China and U.S. on mutual detargeting of strategic nuclear weapons in June 1998.
His postings in diplomatic missions abroad included London, Colombo, New Delhi, New York and Geneva. In the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he served variously as Counselor of the Chinese Mission to the United Nations, Deputy Director-General of the Department of International Organizations and Conferences, Ambassador for Disarmament Affairs, Director-General of the Department of Arms Control, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Chinese Mission to the United Nations Office at Geneva. In his 37 years of diplomatic service, Mr. Sha Zukang's portfolios have covered a range of fields including economic and social affairs, human rights and humanitarian affairs, politics, and security.