Association for Defending Victims of Terrorism – OPCW website reported that the OPCW Member States met for annual conference to review progress in implementing the Chemical Weapons Convention, address challenges and mark the path forward in The Hague, Netherlands.
Twenty-Seventh Session of the Conference of the States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention opened.
The Conference of the States Parties (CSP) is the principal and plenary organ of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), composed of the OPCW’s 193 Member States. The weeklong annual meeting of the Conference brings together high-level officials from OPCW Member States, as well as representatives from international organizations, the chemical industry, and civil society. The CSP oversees the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), promotes the Convention’s objectives and reviews compliance with the treaty.
“We convene in this Conference in a period of international tensions. The situation in Ukraine has again increased the real threat posed by weapons of mass destruction, including chemical weapons. It has exacerbated existing tensions to a point where unity of the international community on common global challenges, related to international security and peace, cannot be presumed. What once were constructive fora on disarmament and non-proliferation, related to the most dangerous weapons, now have become places for confrontation and disagreement.
Despite this, the Organization continues to deliver and adapts to tackle the new threats and risks,” said OPCW Director-General, Ambassador Fernando Arias, at the opening of the Conference.
On Wednesday, 30 November, the Day of Remembrance for All Victims of Chemical Warfare will be observed with a minute of silence. The Conference will reaffirm its commitment to the norm against chemical weapons in all circumstances. In his message for the Day, Director-General Arias underlines the OPCW’s solidarity with victims and its ongoing commitment to exclude completely the possibility of the use of chemical weapons.
As the implementing body for the Chemical Weapons Convention, the OPCW, with its 193 Member States, oversees the global endeavour to permanently eliminate chemical weapons. Since the Convention’s entry into force in 1997, it is the most successful disarmament treaty eliminating an entire class of weapons of mass destruction.
Over 99% of all declared chemical weapon stockpiles have been destroyed under OPCW verification. For its extensive efforts in eliminating chemical weapons, the OPCW received the2013 Nobel Peace Prize.
In this meeting, Dr. Reza Najafi, the deputy of legal and international affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iran, said that the Islamic Republic of Iran, as the biggest victim of the systematic use of chemical weapons in modern history, neither forgives nor forgets the perpetrators and supporters of this crime.
He added that during the imposed war, German and American companies gave Saddam’s regime equipment and chemicals to produce chemical weapons, and they are complicit in Saddam’s crimes. The perpetrators and supporters of this war crime must be brought to justice and this is not subject to the passage of time.
Najafi stressed the commitment of the member states to lift the inhumane unilateral sanctions that are against human rights and humanitarian rights, which led to the lack of access to the necessary equipment and medicines for those affected by the chemical weapons in our country, and called for the immediate lifting of these inhumane sanctions against Iran.
He further stated that the victims of chemical weapons in Iran once in the 80s were victims of the use of these weapons that were given to Saddam, and once again in the 2020s they are victims of unilateral inhumane sanctions.
The Deputy of Foreign Minister added that the Zionist regime, having all kinds of weapons of mass destruction, is the most serious threat to peace and security in the region and the world, and this is the main reason for not achieving to the goal of the Middle East free from weapons of mass destruction. The Conference should take action to realize the universality of the convention and create a world free of chemical weapons.