RIYADH: The Chemical Weapons Convention is undoubtedly the most successful international disarmament agreement in history and it is important that the world ensures such weapons of mass destruction do not reemerge and spread.
This was the view of Ziad Al-Atiyah, the Kingdom’s ambassador to the Netherlands, who was speaking at the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons’ Fifth Review Conference in the Hague on Wednesday.
The envoy, who led the Saudi delegation at the event, said it was taking place at an important time in the history of the OPCW, as the destruction of all declared stockpiles of chemical weapons has been completed as planned, thus achieving an important objective of the convention.
Al-Atiyah, who is also the Kingdom’s permanent representative to the chemical weapons watchdog, said his country looks forward to the success of the Review Conference as it offers a chance to reflect on the progress that has been made and consider what can be done in the coming years to ensure the convention’s continuing role in maintaining international peace and security.
He called on states that have signed up to the convention to heed the lessons learned from the practical experience and practices of the OPCW, and develop a road map so that the organization can continue to achieve the objectives of the convention as effectively and efficiently as possible.
He said development of the organization’s verification system is an essential element in efforts to prevent the reemergence of chemical weapons and any possible threat they might be used.
Al-Atiyah said the Kingdom appreciates the initiatives that have been developed to help the most needy countries meet the challenges they face in fulfilling their obligations under the convention.
He stressed the importance of the economic and technological development of states that are party to the convention, and of international cooperation in the use of chemicals for purposes not prohibited under the convention, in ways that can promote development and boost the global economy.
He also welcomed the inauguration of the OPCW’s Center for Chemistry and Technology last Friday, which is considered one of the advanced facilities of its kind. Al-Atiyah said the Kingdom donated €50,000 euros ($54,207) to help establish the center and support international cooperation to ban chemical weapons and prevent their proliferation, in keeping Chemical Weapons Convention and its role in promoting international peace and security.
The Review Conference began on Monday and continues until Thursday.