Pakistan reaffirms opposition to chemical weapons use

United Nations, Oct 23 (IANS) Pakistan has told the United Nations that it has repeatedly condemned the use of chemical weapons in Syria, and called for holding accountable the perpetrators of such “heinous crimes”.

“We remain strongly opposed to the use of chemical weapons by anyone and under any circumstances,” Ambassador Tehmina Janjua, the permanent deputy representative of Pakistan to the UN in Geneva, said in speech to the General Assembly’s Disarmament and International Security Committee, Dawn reported.

Speaking in a debate on weapons of mass destruction on Thursday, Janjua said it was reprehensible that chemical weapons could still be used in the 21st Century, and went on to share the concerns arising from the threat of possible production and acquisition of chemical and biological weapons by states and non-state actors.

“Early elimination of remaining stockpiles by possessor states is essential,” the Pakistan envoy stressed.

Sensitive technologies and materials should be adequately controlled to ensure their use solely for peaceful purposes, Janjua said.

However, that objective could not justify practices and cartels that hindered the legitimate trade in chemicals, equipment and technology among states parties for demonstrably peaceful purposes, she said, stressing the need for restoring balance and even-handedness in the implementation of the Chemical and Biological Weapons Conventions.

Pakistan, she added, remained fully committed to ensuring the full and effective implementation of these conventions.

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