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Statement by External Affairs Minister at the OPCW High Level Meeting on “Fifteen Years of the Chemical Weapons Convention: Celebrating Success, Committing to the Future”

October 01, 2012

H.E. Mr Ban ki-Moon, UN Secretary General
H.E. Mr. Ahmet Uzumcu, Director General of the OPCW

Excellencies
Ladies and Gentlemen


It is a pleasure to address this special meeting to mark 15 years of the Chemical Weapons Convention. This meeting provides us with an opportunity to take stock of the achievements and the challenges that lie ahead in the task of full and effective implementation of the Convention.

India views the Convention as a unique, multilaterally-negotiated and non-discriminatory disarmament instrument, which serves as a model for the elimination of an entire category of weapons of mass destruction. As an original signatory to the Convention, India attaches the utmost importance to the success of the Convention and its full and effective implementation. The international legal norm against the use of chemical weapons anywhere must not be breached.

Disarmament is a primary goal of the Convention and should remain the priority till the complete destruction of all chemical weapons. We have demonstrated our commitment and sense of responsibility by destroying all our chemical weapon stockpiles under OPCW verification within the time frame prescribed by the Convention. Timely destruction of chemical weapons by all States Parties is critical for upholding the credibility and integrity of the CWC. We call on the remaining possessor States to fulfil their obligations within the shortest possible time.

India is the third largest country in terms of industry declarations and recipient of one of the highest number of industry inspections every year. We have implemented all our industry-related verification obligations. We also believe that the future verification efforts should continue to be guided strictly by the provisions of the Convention, without an undue burden on industry. Apart from National Implementation, which India views as key, Assistance and Protection as well as international cooperation are of interest to a large number of State Parties and deserve greater attention.

India has contributed to the working of the OPCW through participation in several of its subsidiary bodies, namely the Scientific Advisory Board, Advisory Body on Administrative and Financial Matters and Confidentiality Commission. Our National Authority has played a key role in the discharge of our CWC obligations and in international cooperation and assistance programmes. We are privileged that the Permanent Representative of India to the OPCW is currently chairing the Executive Council.

The accession of 188 State Parties to the CWC is commendable and must spur our efforts towards universal adherence of the Convention. We commend the role of the Director General and the OPCW for their efforts in ensuring the smooth implementation of the Convention and for advancing the common goal of a world free of chemical weapons.

Thank you.



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