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Statement by Ambassador VenuRajamony, Permanent Representative of India to the OPCW at the Fourth Special Session of the Conference of the States Parties (June 27, 2018)

June 27, 2018

Mr. Chairman,
Mr. Director General,
Distinguished Delegates,

I welcome you back as the Chairperson of the Fourth Special Session of the Conference of States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention. We are confident that under your able leadership, the Conference will be conducted smoothly and guided to a successful conclusion. My delegation appreciates the work of the Technical Secretariat under the leadership of Director General Ambassador AhmetÜzümcü and acknowledges the efforts made towards the effective implementation of the Convention.

Mr. Chairman,

This special session has been called for discussions on upholding the global ban against chemical weapons use. The global ban against chemical weapons is the fundamental goal for which the Chemical Weapons Convention has been adopted. This Special Session is being held in the backdrop of the widespread concern over reports of use of chemical weapons in different parts of the world, namely, Malaysia, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Syrian Arab Republic and Iraq. India shares this concern and expresses its deepest sympathies to the victims of chemical weapon attacks and their families.

It has been our consistent position that the use of chemical weapons anywhere, at any time, by anybody, under any circumstances, cannot be justified and the perpetrators of such abhorrent 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.

Mr. Chairman,

India views the Chemical Weapons Convention as a unique, non-discriminatory disarmament instrument which serves as a model for the elimination of an entire category of weapons of mass destruction. India therefore attaches great importance to the Chemical Weapons Convention, and stands for its full, effective and non-discriminatory implementation.

Mr. Chairman,

It is important to maintain the credibility and integrity of the Convention. All investigations of alleged use of chemical weapons should be conducted in an impartial and objective manner and strictly in accordance with the provisions of the Convention. We also urge that all provisions of the Convention be utilised to address these concerns.

Mr. Chairman,

The mission of OPCW is to achieve a world free of chemical weapons and threat of their use. It is important that the extensive support and universality that the OPCW enjoys is not dissipated as this would undermine the long standing credibility of the organization. India attaches the highest importance to this organization and has therefore always emphasized the importance of consensus and the need for all decisions to be taken by the members of OPCW in consultation with each other, taking on board different points of view. While we are united on the goal, there are strong differences on how to achieve this goal. The need of the hour is constructive engagement, dialogue and unity of purpose.

Any long-lasting and effective solution to the challenges faced by the OPCW can only be found through wide ranging consultations among States Parties. These challenges include non-State actors, effective national implementation, capacity building, universality, international cooperation, assistance and protection as well as rapid developments in science and technology. Deliberations are underway towards the preparation of the Fourth Review Conference which will provide an effective platform to address them. India looks forward to participating in these discussions.

We are confident that this Conference would be able to narrow the differences on various issues pertaining to the object and purpose of the Convention as well as its implementation. Our efforts should be focussed on preserving the credibility and integrity of the Convention and strengthening the OPCW so that the world does not witness any more incidents of the use of chemical weapons. India stands ready to work together with the international community to uphold the global ban on the use of chemical weapons, the very purpose for which, this Conference has been convened.

My delegation assures India's full support to you in steering this Conference to a successful conclusion.

Mr. Chairman,

I request that this Statement be circulated as an official document of this session and posted on the OPCW’s public website.



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