India opposes use of chemical weapons

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The Hague, June 27 (IANS) India has opposed the use of chemical weapons anywhere by anybody at any time and demanded accountability of perpetrators of such acts and non-discriminatory implementation of the UN Convention on the issue.

Indian Ambassador Venu Rajamony said India viewed the Chemical Weapons as a unique, non-discriminatory disarmament instrument which served 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,” he said at the Special session of of the Conference of the States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention, Permanent Representative of India to the organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) here.

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Rajamony said it had been India’s 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 he 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 Covention as well as accepted international legal norms,” he said.

He also called for constructive engagement, dialogue and unity of purpose at the ongoing Special Session of the Conference of State Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention.

Rajamony said it was important that the extensive support and universality that the OPCW enjoyed was not dissipated as this would undermine the long-standing credibility of the organisation.

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“India attaches the highest importance to this organisation 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,” he said.

Rajamony said while there was unity on the goal, there were strong differences on how to achieve this goal. Any long-lasting and effective solution to the challenges faced by the OPCW can only be found through wide ranging consultations among States Parties, he said.

The Indian envoy said the Special Session had 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 UK and Northern Ireland, Syria and Iraq. India shares this concern and expresses its deepest sympathies to the victims of chemical weapon attacks and their families.

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