STATEMENT BY TÜRKİYE BY H.E. AMBASSADOR SELÇUK ÜNAL, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF TÜRKİYE TO THE OPCW AT THE FIFTH SPECIAL SESSION OF THE CONFERENCE OF THE STATES PARTIES TO REVIEW THE OPERATION OF THE CHEMICAL WEAPONS CONVENTION (THE HAGUE, 15-19 MAY 2023)
Mr. Director General,
I would like to extend my congratulations to H.E. Henk Cor van der Kwast, distinguished Ambassador of the Netherlands on his election as the Chairperson of the Fifth Review Conference.
I wish to commend the Director-General, H.E. Ambassador Fernando Arias for his leadership of the OPCW.
I also would like to thank H.E. Lauri Kuusing, Ambassador of Estonia, for the invaluable work he has done as the Chairperson of the Open-Ended Working Group on Preparations for the Fifth Review Conference.
Review Conferences give us the opportunity to evaluate the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC); identify possible challenges, and calibrate the strategy of the Organization with a fresh approach.
It will be critical in reaching a common understanding to address the challenges facing the CWC and to keep the Organization fit for purpose.
We invite all delegations to be realistic and work together in a constructive manner to find ways and means to move forward towards a world free of chemical weapons.
Türkiye is party to all non-proliferation instruments and fully supports the activities of the OPCW. We are totally committed to full and effective implementation of the CWC. Adherence to relevant international instruments and their full implementation are key.
We commend the major achievement for the OPCW that the destruction of all declared stockpiles is scheduled to be completed in 2023.
However, the destruction mandate of the OPCW cannot be considered complete unless all chemical weapons stockpiles in the world is brought under the authority of the Convention. In this respect, ensuring the universality of the Convention is of key importance.
The ultimate objective of the Convention can be attained only when full universalization is achieved.
We must work for a Convention that is universal and universally implemented. Effective national implementation of the obligations of the Convention is crucial for our common security.
In this context, a robust verification regime plays a key role. Well-functioning verification regime has been key in OPCW’s success in fulfilling its non-proliferation mandate. In today’s world, it is more important to keep the verification regime in line with the new developments in science and technology.
Completion of the project for upgrading the OPCW Laboratory and Equipment Store to the OPCW Centre for Chemistry and Technology (ChemTechCentre-CTC) is yet another crucial achievement for the Organisation. The CTC will be a key asset in further strengthening the capacity of the Organisation to perform its core tasks in verification, inspection, and capacity building.
Adoption of the decision entitled “Addressing the threat from chemical weapons use” (C-SS-4/DEC.3) on 27 June 2018 by the Fourth Special Session of the Conference and the establishment of the Investigation and Identification Team (IIT) for identifying the perpetrators of the chemical weapons attacks in Syria provided an appropriate response by the OPCW to the chemical weapons attacks. Türkiye welcomed the third report of the Investigation and Identification Team (IIT) on the chemical weapon attack which took place in Douma on 7 April 2018. IIT has confirmed the responsibility of the Syrian regime in five chemical weapons attacks in the three reports it has published so far. We believe that all perpetrators of usage of chemical weapons must be held accountable. Effective and timely response should be given against the use of chemical weapons.
On Ukraine, our approach towards the war in Ukraine has been clear. We support Ukraine’s efforts in protecting its sovereignty and territorial integrity. Since the outset of the war,we have been consistent in our view thata legitimate and just peace depends on diplomacy. Continuing the struggle and engaging in diplomacy are not mutually exclusive as the Black Sea Grain Initiative has proved.The Initiative allowed more than 30 million tons of various grain products to reach world markets. It has stabilized international food prices and eased lowest income countries’ access to food products.Its uninterrupted implementation continues to be our top priority. We have been hosting more than 600 Ukrainian orphans and their caregivers. TIKA, our international aid agency has donated 180 generators to mitigate the impact of the attacks on civilian infrastructure.
Today, international community is facing a growing threat of utilization of chemical weapons by terrorists. Addressing this new type of threat requires determined response of the States Parties.
In light of the growing risk of chemical weapons use by non-state actors and terrorist groups/networks in adjacent high-risk zones, Türkiye stresses that this issue is addressed by relevant organs of the Organization. In this vein, we support and actively participate in the work of the Open Ended Working Group on Terrorism.
The Technical Secretariat, should also keep addressing this issue through capacity-building activities in order to strengthen the capabilities of States Parties in emergency preparedness and national implementation of the Convention, as well as by maintaining its readiness to provide assistance and protection, if and when requested by a State Party.
Full and effective implementation of the Convention is indispensable for contributing to the fight against such terrorist threats.
International cooperation in this field enables States Parties to develop capacities required to implement the Convention and use of chemicals for peaceful purposes.
Türkiye will continue to extend its full support and cooperation to the effective implementation of the Convention.
I wish us all success for a productive Conference to further strengthen the Convention. I kindly request that this statement be issued as an official document of this session of the Conference and be placed on the public website.
Monday - Friday
09:00 - 18:00
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