Intervention by the Deputy Permanent Representative of the Argentine Republic, Minister Gabriela Martinic
On the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the entry into force of the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, Argentina reaffirms its commitment to prohibiting the development, production, acquisition, transfer, storage and use of chemical weapons and their total elimination, as agreed upon in the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. It also supports its full, effective and non-discriminatory implementation, and encourages continued work towards its universalization.
The Convention has become one of the most successful universal instruments on disarmament of all times: 192 countries are parties to this treaty, equivalent to 98% of the world's population. It is expected that, by 2023, all declared arsenals of chemical weapons would be destroyed.
We reiterate the importance of the agreement reached in December 2011, which stipulated a framework for the completion of the destruction of the remaining chemical arsenals, while preserving the integrity of the Convention and the credibility of the OPCW.
Argentina calls on countries with chemical weapons to comply with their obligations under the terms stipulated by the Convention and to destroy their arsenals within the agreed period. In this regard, Argentina welcomes the announcement made by the Russian Federation on September 27 about the total destruction of its chemical arsenal.
Argentina also calls on all States that may possess chemical weapons to eliminate them and join the Convention quickly, without any conditions.
While highlighting the growing participation of States in the Convention, we appeal to States that have not acceded to it to do so promptly. We also express our appreciation for the efforts made by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to promote the universalization of the Convention and the full implementation of all its provisions.
Argentina strongly reiterates its absolute condemnation of the use of chemical weapons and the use of chemical substances as weapons by any actor and under any circumstance. Its use is a crime against humanity. The catastrophic consequences of its use should be avoided by its complete elimination.
In recent years, Argentina has observed, with serious concern and regret, the evidence and allegations of the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic and the Republic of Iraq, and recently expressed its deep concern over the use of the nerve agent VX as a chemical weapon in the murder of Kim Jong-nam at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport on February 13, 2017.
Argentina strongly condemns the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian Arab Republic and ISIS, as confirmed by the OPCW - Joint Investigative Mechanism of the United Nations (JIM). Argentina awaits the next report that the JIM will present at the end of October with the conclusions of the investigations on the incidents in Um-Housh (September 2016) and Khan Shaykhun (April 2017).
Argentina expresses its appreciation for the contribution made by the Technical Secretariat in achieving the object and purpose of the Convention, helping to ensure the full implementation of its provisions, including those of international verification of compliance, while serving as a forum for consultation and cooperation to States Parties.
Argentina is firmly committed to supporting international cooperation activities related to the implementation of the Convention for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, for example, through the offer of our country to support capacity building of other National Authorities in the region by sending inter-sector work teams, the training of foreign experts in Argentina, the development of specific training courses and joint bilateral projects, among others.
In this regard, Argentina, together with the OPCW, has been carrying out various training activities with the GRULAC countries in the city of Buenos Aires.
For the last six years, an advanced course on regional assistance and protection has been held in Argentina. It is organized by the Argentine National Authority together with the OPCW and the Special Risks Brigade of the Federal Superintendence of Firemen. A score of first responders from Latin American and Caribbean countries participate, who highlight the high material and professional level of the course.
In 2017, the second edition of the Regional Course on Safety of Chemical Laboratories took place, in conjunction with the OPCW and the National Institute of Industrial Technology (INTI).
In 2016, Argentina participated for the first time in the Industry Segment of the OPCW Associate Program, receiving two fellows in an Argentine chemical industrial plant; in 2017 the experience in another industrial plant was repeated.
At the national level, in 2013, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship and the Ministry of Education for which the "National Education Project on the Responsible and Safe Use of Chemical Sciences and Technologies" was created, with the primary objective of incorporating minimum content on the subject in related university careers. In 2015, a similar instrument was signed with the Ministry of Defense and a Memorandum of similar contents was negotiated with the Ministry of Security.
This project aroused a strong interest of the OPCW, which is why the Executive Secretary of the National Authority for the Chemical Weapons Convention was invited to present the Argentine experience in various international forums.
In view of the forthcoming fourth special session of the Conference of the States Parties to review the functioning of the Chemical Weapons Convention in 2018, Argentina expresses its desire to achieve debates and productive results
Argentina reaffirms the fundamental importance of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpilling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction (BWC). Argentina renews its commitment to continue cooperating actively and constructively to advance the objectives of the full implementation and universalization of the Convention.
In this respect, and in connection with the VIII Review Conference of the Biological Weapons Conventions, held in Geneva in November 2016, Argentina regrets the lack of agreement on the merits and takes note of the agreements reached.
Therefore, and with a view to strengthening the Convention on Biological Weapons, Argentina considers that at the next Meeting of States Parties, the only body that has the mandate to establish a new consensual program of work between sessions that is essential to advance the substance and the process during the previous period the next Review Conference.
Argentina is convinced that the national measures translate the obligations assumed by the States into practical and effective actions, and therefore reiterates, the support to the Support Unit for the Implementation of the Convention (ISU), which has provided its assistance to Member States.
Finally, there are many and very painful cases in which international terrorism has given enough proof of its capacity for destruction. The use of weapons of mass destruction by non-state actors ceased to be an abstract or theoretical problem in recent years and highlighted the need for Member States to redouble their efforts to prevent terrorist groups from accessing weapons of destruction massive, its related materials and / or its means of transport.
For Argentina, Resolution 1540 represents, by its scope and legal nature, the clearest response of the United Nations to the problem of weapons of mass destruction and their access to them by non-state actors.
Thank you Mr. Chair