STATEMENT BY AMBASSADOR ROGELIO PFIRTER DIRECTOR-GENERAL OF THE

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1 ORGANISATION FOR THE PROHIBITION OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS Please check against delivery STATEMENT BY AMBASSADOR ROGELIO PFIRTER DIRECTOR-GENERAL OF THE ORGANISATION FOR THE PROHIBITION OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS THE UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL COMMITTEE ESTABLISHED PURSUANT TO RESOLUTION 1373 (2001) CONCERNING COUNTER-TERRORISM New York 18 June 2009

2 Allow me to begin by thanking you, for inviting me to address the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC). For me as Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), it is a unique privilege to address the Committee for the first time. The Committee plays an important role in strengthening the ability of Member States of the United Nations to prevent terrorist acts, both within their borders and across regions. I wish you and the Committee every success in your important work. The cooperation of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons with the United Nations is a manifestation of the international community s aspiration for a law-based, humane, and peaceful system of global security with effective multilateralism at its heart. Let me briefly recall the main aspects of the Chemical Weapons Convention. The conclusion of the Chemical Weapons Convention and its entry into force in 1997 proved to be a watershed in the international community s efforts to ban weapons of mass destruction. The Convention was negotiated within a multilateral framework, and is the first multilateral treaty that bans an entire class of weapons of mass destruction. It establishes rights and obligations that are far-reaching in scope in order to ensure that chemical weapons are effectively eliminated and that they never re-emerge. The complete and irreversible destruction of all existing chemical weapons and their effective non-proliferation are at this Treaty s core. Thus, the Convention is comprehensive and non-discriminatory, prohibiting the development, production, stockpiling, transfer, retention, and use of chemical weapons by States Parties, under conditions of strict and highly intrusive international verification. All States Parties have equal rights and obligations, and those who possess chemical weapons must destroy their stockpiles according to strict deadlines. States Parties are also required to ensure that, within their jurisdiction, chemistry is only used for purposes not prohibited under the Convention that is to say, exclusively for peaceful purposes. For non-proliferation purposes, under the Convention s verification regime, industries in States Parties which produce toxic chemicals and their precursors that could be used to make chemical weapons are subject to vigorous inspections. In addition, when joining the Convention, States also undertake to provide assistance to other Member States should chemical weapons ever be used, or threatened to be used, against them. At the same time, given that chemistry is one of the key sectors of global economic development, the Convention seeks to promote cooperation at the international level by encouraging the exchange of knowledge and expertise in this field. Now, allow me to address the issue of the OPCW s contribution to global anti-terrorism efforts as it relates to the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention, and in relation to the work of the United Nations and its relevant resolutions. Within the clear boundaries of its mandate, and keeping in mind that the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is not an anti-terrorism agency, the OPCW contributes to 2

3 the international community s efforts in the area of counter-terrorism by its efforts to ensure that the Chemical Weapons Convention is fully and effectively implemented, and in the context of our cooperation with the United Nations. Cooperation with the United Nations is embedded in the provisions of the Convention, both in its goals as a treaty that aims to contribute to the purposes and principles enshrined in the United Nations Charter and in its focus on advancing the cause of international peace and security. In addition, our ties with the United Nations are regulated by the Relationship Agreement signed in 2000, which formalises a close working relationship between the two organisations, whilst at the same time it specifically recognises the independent status of the OPCW. The United Nations Security Council Resolution 1373 (2001), which created this Committee, was the first resolution which directly called upon all States to enhance coordination of efforts on national, subregional, regional and international levels in order to strengthen a global response to the serious challenge and threat to international security posed by terrorism. The OPCW established and has maintained close ties with this Committee, and has participated in all special meetings held by the Committee after its creation. These meetings had indeed proved to be crucial venues for identifying the ways in which international, regional and sub-regional organisations can assist one another, pursuant to relevant mandates. The benefit of exchanging information, knowledge, and expertise as needed, and coordinating programme activities that relate to action against terrorism is of clear and tangible benefit for all. Shortly after the adoption of the resolution 1373, the OPCW Member States, came to the decision that the Organisation has a potential to play an important role in terms of global anti-terrorism efforts. A decision by the OPCW Executive Council at its Twenty-Seventh Session on 11 December 2001 recognised that the full and effective implementation of all the provisions of the Chemical Weapons Convention in and of itself makes a significant contribution to these efforts. The Council stressed that, in the context of the Convention, this contribution should focus on five key elements: one the promotion of universal adherence to the Convention; two the full implementation of legislative measures as required by Article VII; three the achievement of full destruction of chemical weapons and the means to produce them; four full implementation of the provisions of Article VI, which relates to verification and inspections; and five strengthening the ability of the OPCW to respond to the assistance and protection provisions under Article X. In addition, the Council established an open-ended working group on terrorism to examine further the OPCW s contribution to global anti-terrorist efforts. The group, led by the facilitator from the delegation of France serves as a forum for consultations and sharing regional experiences. The Second Special Session of the Conference of the States Parties to Review the Operation of the Chemical Weapons Convention ( the Second Review Conference ), which was held from 7 to 18 April 2008, acknowledged the decisions of the United Nations in the field of counter-terrorism. This of course includes the references to the United Nations Security 3

4 Council Resolutions 1373 and 1540, as well as the global counter-terrorism strategy adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in The United Nations global counter-terrorism strategy encourages the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to continue their efforts, within their respective mandates, to help States to enhance their capacity to prevent terrorists from accessing nuclear, chemical, or radiological materials, to ensure security at related facilities, and to respond effectively in the event of an attack that uses such materials. The OPCW by participating in the work of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF) contributes to the implementation of the strategy. In the past, OPCW has made its inputs to the development of the above strategy. In that context and in the same line, the Technical Secretariat, acting within the limits of its mandate, also continues to cooperate with the Committee created by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540, which, as we all know, seeks to impede the access to weapons of mass destruction by terrorists. In this connection, I would like to mention that this year in the Hague, the OPCW supported an important seminar on the implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540 at the national level. The seminar offered a unique opportunity to initiate cooperation among partners from governments, international organisations, the 1540 Committee, and relevant stakeholders from the private sector in supporting multilateral non-proliferation assistance programmes. Allow me now to briefly review the progress that the OPCW has made in pursuit of the areas relevant to the Organisation s contribution to global anti-terrorism efforts. Disarmament The verification of the timely, complete and irreversible destruction of all chemical weapons declared by our Member States remains central to our present work. Around 85% of the overall inspection days are consistently dedicated to this core objective and, with the expected intensification of destruction activities, is likely to increase in the future. To date, seven States Parties have declared possession of chemical weapons, namely A State Party, which has requested anonymity; Albania; India; Iraq; the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya; the Russian Federation; and the United States of America. Collectively, these seven States have declared over 71,000 tonnes of chemical-warfare agents, and as of today, more than 44% of these agents have been verifiably destroyed. The stockpiles include large quantities of highly lethal nerve agents like VX. So destroying them is a very dangerous, time-consuming, and expensive challenge. Albania, A State Party, and India have already completed the destruction of their chemical weapons. This achievement is significant. It underscores the value of the Chemical Weapons Convention as an effective instrument for promoting the objectives of international peace and security, and as an instrument whose worthy goals are indeed achievable. Albania, A State Party, and India have demonstrated that in an unequivocal manner. While we may take satisfaction at this important and indeed encouraging progress, the OPCW remains focused on what is undoubtedly a serious challenge in the area of 4

5 demilitarisation. Approximately 55% of the total of declared stockpiles still remains to be destroyed, mainly by the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, the Russian Federation, and the United States of America, and in a period of less than three years. Non-proliferation Together with the goal of disarmament, it is vital to ensure that the non-proliferation regime under the Convention is implemented effectively and to its full potential. The effective and efficient industry inspection regime that has been established under the Convention is key to the Organisation s non-proliferation efforts and to the promotion of confidence among States Parties that the chemical industry is engaged in legitimate and peaceful activities. Progress in disarmament will gradually lead to increasing attention to, and enhancement of, Article VI verification tools. In this way, the Convention will retain its long-term viability and further strengthen its role in preventing the re-emergence of chemical weapons. Continued refinement and higher intensity of the industry verification efforts is crucial to achieving this objective. This will ensure that all categories of relevant facilities envisaged in the Convention, especially the category known as other chemical production facilities (OCPFs) are adequately covered under the verification regime. These are matters that are now before the policy-making organs of the OPCW. The Technical Secretariat, for its part, remains committed to providing all the necessary information and support to facilitate the consideration by Member States of these important issues. For the verification mechanism to maintain its relevance and effectiveness, the OPCW will have to adapt it to the rapidly changing environment throughout the global chemical industry. Our Scientific Advisory Board is constantly engaged in ensuring that the mechanisms set forth in the Convention to enforce the chemical weapons ban keep pace with progress. But in this endeavour, the continued cooperation from scientists and engineers all over the world, as well as from the chemical industry, which has been a reliable partner of the OPCW, is vital. Here I wish to underline the admirable support and cooperation of the global chemical industry which has been crucial to the success of our endeavours. Assistance and protection Contemporary security threats, including the possibility of the use of chemical weapons by non-state actors, have created an increased interest in the ability of the OPCW to coordinate the delivery of emergency assistance to States Parties in case of an attack or the threat of an attack that involves the use of chemical weapons. States Parties are also keen on building their national capacities to deal with the threats or actual incidents involving the use of chemical weapons or toxic chemicals. Within the framework of the Article X of the CWC, OPCW programmes and training courses, including those for emergency responders, are routinely held in all regions of the world. This effort is supplemented by periodic field exercises for the delivery of assistance, in cooperation and coordination with other organisations including the United Nations. The next such exercise is scheduled to be held in Tunisia in

6 The Second Review Conference encouraged the Secretariat to maintain the flexibility to address capacity building for public events where the consequences of chemical attack could be considerable for States Parties. In this context, the OPCW has already developed experience in advising and training Member States in their security-planning while hosting major international events. National implementation The Chemical Weapons Convention now covers over 98% of the worldwide chemical industry relevant to it, and a similar percentage of the world s population. In order to ensure permanence and durability to the norms of the Convention, it is necessary to strengthen the relevant domestic legal and administrative systems in Member States. It is thus imperative that each State Party establishes the administrative and legislative measures to detect, pursue, and prosecute any breach of the Convention by its nationals on its territory. The existence of loopholes could encourage possible criminal and terrorist uses of chemistry and its products. National implementation of the Convention s provisions and reporting on steps taken in this regard constitute clear obligations for our States Parties. In an environment of heightened concerns about proliferation and possible terrorist acts involving the use of chemical weapons, the adoption and implementation of such measures acquires an added necessity and urgency. The OPCW provides technical assistance to States Parties, upon request, in a tailored and systematic manner and using a variety of tools. Implementation support is one of the most active programme areas for the Secretariat. This includes technical-assistance visits to Member States; meetings with parliamentarians, and the holding of thematic workshops, which focus on such areas as legal drafting, outreach to relevant officials and authorities within a State Party, courses for customs authorities and for personnel from National Authorities, as well as the provision of information and assistance vis-à-vis the submission of declarations and notifications. The OPCW s outreach efforts and a sustained programme of assistance have contributed to the endeavours of many States Parties in closing the gap between joining the Convention and implementing it fully. I am pleased to note that, during the regional and subregional outreach activities organised by the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs and the 1540 Committee, the OPCW s presentations covering its work and experience in this field have been found to be of particular relevance and utility. New challenges: safety and security at chemical plants As I mentioned earlier, the OPCW and its verification regime were not designed to detect the small-scale production or improvised use of toxic chemicals by terrorists, or to fight terrorism in general. Nevertheless, the Convention offers useful tools for Member States as they seek to address this emerging threat. The States Parties to the Convention are convinced that there are fields in which there is room for further constructive interactions, for example, with regard to safety and security at 6

7 chemical plants. In its final report, the Second Review Conference reaffirmed concerns expressed at the First Review Conference that chemical facilities may become subject to attacks or other incidents that could lead to the release or theft of toxic chemicals. The Second Review Conference welcomed the fact that some States Parties had taken measures to minimise such risks and encouraged States Parties to exchange experiences and discuss related issues. Following these concerns the OPCW Secretariat continues to encourage States Parties to exchange experiences and discuss issues relevant to this challenge. At the same time, the Secretariat has begun work on developing a strategy on how the OPCW could contribute to enhancing the security of chemical facilities. This strategy envisages developing the role of the OPCW as a platform of support for global cooperation in lessening the chemical threat by promoting awareness of chemical security best practices and fostering cooperation between chemical professionals. In this regard, the OPCW will continue to develop relations and partnerships, as appropriate, with relevant regional and international organisations, including international organisations related to chemical safety, chemical industry associations, and the private sector and civil society, in order to promote awareness of the objectives and purposes of the Convention. I will now address an important area of OPCW s work, which underpins both our contribution to global anti-terrorism efforts and the functioning of the CWC regime. Universality In just a short period of twelve years, the Convention has enabled the international community to progress from a world in which the potential use of chemical weapons as a means of warfare was a reality, to a world which today will not tolerate their existence, proliferation, or use. This has been possible, not only because of the operational regime established for this purpose, but also because of the political and moral support extended to the norms of the Treaty by now 188 States Parties to the Convention. Confidence in compliance with the norms against chemical weapons remains incomplete so long as even a single country remains outside the jurisdiction of the Convention. It is, therefore, quite natural for concerns to be raised regarding those few States that have not joined the Convention or adhered to it. The goal of a world free from chemical weapons will not be reached solely through the destruction of declared chemical weapons. Unless each member of the international community has embraced the Convention s prohibitions, abstinence by some could raise questions about the possibilities of chemical weapons proliferation. Promoting universality of the Convention, therefore, remains an important priority and challenge. Seven States that are Members of the United Nations have yet to become States Parties to the Convention. Of special note in recent months has been the accession of both Iraq and Lebanon, a significant step that will contribute to building greater trust and security in the volatile Middle East region. Elsewhere in the Middle East, the picture is, unfortunately, quite different. Israel has signed, but has not ratified the Convention; Egypt and the Syrian Arab Republic continue to cite regional security concerns as a justification for remaining outside the purview of the 7

8 Convention. While I respect the voicing of these perceptions, I also believe that the validity of the Convention is universal and should not be affected by regional circumstances. In fact, joining the Convention would constitute a major confidence- and security-building measure. It could provide an important impetus to the cause of peace and security in the Middle East, just as it did in other sensitive regions of the world. I must, however, gratefully acknowledge the continuing dialogue with Egypt and Israel, two States that have not desisted from constructive engagement. The only country with virtually no substantive contacts with the OPCW and no positive indication of the intention to do so is the Democratic People s Republic of Korea. I hope that this State will, at an early date, show a positive inclination to engage in a discussion on the issue of the abolition of chemical weapons. This would be consistent with the requirements of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1718 (2006), which, while dealing with the nuclear non-proliferation issue, also refers to the necessity for the DPRK to abandon other categories of weapons of mass destruction in a complete, verifiable, and irreversible manner. In this connection, I am encouraged by the adoption of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1874 (2009) which calls on DPRK to immediately and fully comply with the resolution 1718 (2006). For its part, the OPCW remains prepared to assist the Democratic People s Republic of Korea in any manner it can towards encouraging it to accede to the Convention. In conclusion, may I once again express to you and members of the Committee my deep appreciation for this opportunity to give an overview of developments from the perspective of the OPCW as they relate to global anti-terrorism efforts. I consider myself fortunate in saying that, in the context of chemical weapons, many achievements have been recorded, all due to the diligence and commitment of the States Parties to the Convention, which are collectively resolved to ensure the success of this Treaty. The OPCW has proved to be a successful experiment in true multilateralism: the Organisation is a forum for consultations and cooperation, where Member States, working tirelessly and on the basis of dialogue and consensus, have reached agreement on sensitive and complex issues and have made effective progress towards the full implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention. Indeed, there is no reason why the example of the OPCW should not inspire similar multilateral cooperation and dialogue within the global community as it strives to deal with other contemporary challenges in the area of disarmament and non-proliferation, and as it seeks to achieve international peace and security. I thank you for your attention. 8

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