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India calls for constructive engagement to review OPCW

ANI | Updated: Nov 26, 2018 22:24 IST

The Hague [Netherlands], Nov 26 (ANI): At the Fourth Special Session of the Conference of the States Parties here on November 23, India called for constructive engagement, dialogue and unity of purpose to reviewing the Operation of the Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Convention.
Addressing the Fourth Review Conference, Permanent Representative of India to the OPCW Ambassador Venu Rajamony said that constructive engagement, dialogue and unity of purpose were the need of the hour.
He further asserted that any long-lasting and effective solution to the challenges being faced by the OPCW can only be found through wide-ranging consultations involving all States Parties.
"As a founding member of OPCW, India has always emphasised the importance of the principle of consensus enshrined in the Convention and the need for decisions to be taken by the States Parties in consultation with each other," read the press statement from Embassy of India in The Hague.
Rajamony said that the aim of the Chemical Weapons Convention is "to exclude completely the possibility of the use of chemical weapons." He also reiterated that as the destruction of declared chemical weapons stockpiles nears completion, OPCW must continue to implement its disarmament mandate by focusing on preventing the re-emergence of chemical weapons as well as the risk of their proliferation.
"This is vital in fulfilling the OPCW's crucial role in enhancing international peace and security," he said.
Asserting that OPCW has effectively addressed a number of complex challenges during 21 years of its existence, Rajamony stated that it was the result of the continued commitment and collective endeavour of States Parties "working in tandem with the professional and competent Technical Secretariat."
"It is a matter of grave concern that despite our best efforts, there has been an increase in allegations and incidents of use of chemical weapons in different parts of the world such as Malaysia, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Syrian Arab Republic and Iraq," he stated.
Expressing deepest sympathies to the victims of chemical weapon attacks and their families, Rajamony reiterated that India shares the concern over the possibility of use of chemical weapons.
Emphasising on India' position on the use of chemical weapons, Ambassador Rajamony stated that use of these weapons anywhere, at any time, by anybody, under any circumstances is unjustifiable. He also stated that the perpetrators of these despicable acts must be held accountable.
"The use of chemical weapons is in complete disregard of humanity and is reprehensible and contrary to the provisions of the Chemical Weapons Convention as well as accepted international legal norms. India believes that it is important to maintain the credibility and integrity of the Convention. Hence, it is essential that all investigations of alleged use of chemical weapons are impartial, objective and conducted strictly in accordance with the Convention, utilising all its provisions," the press statement read.
Stating India's anxiety about the reports of the 'Islamic State' or ISIS/ISIL acquiring chemical weapons and their delivery systems, Rajamony said that an important step in combating this challenge was taken when the Executive Council adopted in 2017 its decision on addressing the threat posed by the use of chemical weapons by non-state actors. India also urged the Technical Secretariat to continue to monitor this threat and report to the Executive Council on this issue.
He also stated that the efforts in the OPCW should be aimed at eliminating all the possibilities of any future use of chemical weapons.
"There are daunting challenges ahead such as the discovery of new toxic chemicals, advancements in deployment and dissemination techniques and the increasing threat of use of chemical weapons by non-state actors. The growing complexity of the global security environment calls for greater vigilance and continued efforts by both OPCW and the member states towards achieving general and complete chemical disarmament," the press release asserted.
Noting the increase in division amongst State Parties, Rajamony empahsised that these differences must be bridged through dialogue and consultations to allow for the effective functioning of the Organisation.
Reiterating India's willingness for all discussions with States Parties to find ways, Ambassador Rajamony concluded by emphasising the need to strengthen the Convention and its effective implementation, within the framework of the Convention. (ANI)