1 October 2012
Statement by H. E. Dr. Ali Akbar Salehi
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran
On Behalf of the States Members of the Non-Aligned Movement that are Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention
At the OPCW High-Level Meeting
On “Fifteen Years of the Chemical Weapons Convention: Celebrating Success, Committing to the Future”
United Nations, New York (1 October 2012)
In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful
- I am honoured to speak on behalf of the States Members of the Non-Aligned Movement that are Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). This important meeting represents an opportunity to further support the long-term objectives of the Convention.
- NAM States Parties to the CWC recognize the important role the CWC has played over the last 15 years in the prevention of proliferation and total destruction of all chemical weapons, which is a significant contribution to the maintenance of international peace and security.
- NAM States Parties to the CWC reaffirm the Final Document of the 16th Summit of Heads of States or Governments of NAM held from 26-31 August 2012 in Tehran, which contains their principled positions on various important issues in relation to the CWC.
- Mindful of the threat posed to humankind by the existing weapons of mass destruction, particularly Nuclear Weapons and underlining the need for the total elimination of such weapons, we reaffirm the need to prevent the emergence of new types of weapons of mass destruction, and therefore supports the necessity of monitoring the situation and triggering international action as required.
- In our view, CWC is one of the very few disarmament multilateral treaties banning a whole category of weapons of mass destruction. Consequently, we believe that the effective contribution of the Convention to international and regional peace and security would be enhanced through universal adherence to the Convention. In this context, NAM States Parties to the CWC invite all non-parties, in particular those States whose non-adherence has given rise to serious concerns, to accede to the Convention as soon as possible with a view to achieve its universality.
- NAM States Parties to the CWC reaffirm that the effective contribution of the Convention to international and regional peace and security can be enhanced through its full implementation, and in this context encourage all States Parties that have not yet done so to engage with the Technical Secretariat of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons on the steps that need to be undertaken for the national implementation of the Convention.
- NAM States Parties to the CWC reaffirm the importance of international cooperation in the field of chemical activities for purposes not prohibited under the Convention, and in this connection call on the developed countries to promote international cooperation for the benefit of States Parties through the transfer of technology, material and equipment for peaceful purposes in the chemical field and the removal of all and to prevent any discriminatory restrictions as they are contrary to the letter and spirit of the Convention. They further reiterate their conviction that facilitation of and participation in the fullest possible exchanges and enhanced international cooperation in the field of peaceful chemical activities, aimed at facilitating economic and social development, is a vital element in strengthening implementation of the Convention.
- In the view of the NAM States Parties to the CWC, 15 years of operation of the Convention has demonstrated that developing countries who are States Parties to the CWC have implemented their obligations in good faith. They reiterate their strong call to developed countries to promote international cooperation and to fulfil the solemn undertakings given at the time of the Convention’s adoption for removal of unwarranted restrictions in the field of trade in chemicals, equipment and related technologies for peaceful purposes.
- NAM States Parties to the CWC express serious concern that certain possessor States Parties could not comply with their obligations regarding the total destruction of chemical weapons stockpiles within the final extended deadline of 29 April 2012. While stressing that such cases of non-compliance endanger the credibility and integrity of the Convention, they urge all possessor State Parties to take every necessary measure with a view to achieving, under verification by OPCW, complete destruction of their chemical weapons in the shortest time possible in order to ensuring their compliance with the Convention thus upholding its credibility and integrity. They further express disappointment that, to date, the obligation of total destruction of all chemical weapons has not been met, and reaffirm that verification of the destruction of all the remaining chemical weapons stockpiles as well as old chemical weapons and abandoned chemical weapons shall continue to be the top priorities of the OPCW.
- NAM States Parties to the CWC reaffirm that the implementation of the Article X of the CWC on assistance and protection against chemical weapons make a significant contribution to countering the threats of use of chemical weapons. They stress the importance of achieving and maintaining a high level of readiness of the OPCW to provide timely and needed assistance and protection against use or threat of use of chemical weapons, including assistance to the victims of chemical weapons.
- NAM States Parties to the CWC welcome the decision on Components of an agreed framework for the full implementation of Article XI adopted at the 16th Conference of the States Parties of the CWC and consider it a positive step towards achieving the goal of the full, effective and non-discriminatory implementation of Article XI.
- NAM States Parties to the CWC declare their firm conviction that international support to provide special care and assistance to all victims suffering the effects of exposure to chemical weapons is an immediate humanitarian need that requires urgent attention, and in this context, they welcome the establishment of an International Support Network for Victims of Chemical Weapons and a voluntary Trust Fund for this purpose. They call upon the Technical Secretariat to expeditiously operationalize the Network, and in this context encourage the States Parties to contribute to the voluntary trust fund of the Network.
- In closing, NAM States Parties to the CWC express their strong commitment to continue their efforts on the universalization and effective implementation of the CWC. Let us all join hands and work together to help realise peace and wellbeing everywhere.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.