Statement delivered by the Minister Plenipotentiary of the Argentine Republic, Maria Paula Mac Loughlin
Argentina voted to abstain from project L.65 Rev.1 as it considers that any decision that may affect the Mechanism of the Secretary General must be sustained in the greatest possible political agreement, which preserves its full independence. Likewise, we understand that with regard to biological weapons, it is convenient to wait for the Review Conference to be held next year, avoiding duplicating the discussion scenarios.
Argentina has an unequivocal commitment to disarmament and non-proliferation policies. As a State party to the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Bacteriological (Biological) Weapons Convention, Argentina calls for fulfillment of its provisions.
We acknowledge the cooperation between the OPCW and the United Nations in the event of an investigation into alleged use involving a country not party to the CWC or when the alleged use of such weapons takes place in territory not controlled by a State Party of the Convention. This allowed the creation of a Mission to Investigate the Alleged Use of Chemical Weapons in Syria (joint OPCW-WHO) in March 2013, pursuant to the mandate provided by the General Assembly and the Security Council, whose final report was introduced in December 2013.
With regard to biological weapons and considering that the Biological Weapons Convention does not have its own verification mechanism, the Mechanism of the Secretary General is presented as a fundamental tool to act in a scenario of alleged use of said weapons. In this sense, Argentina believes it is essential to consolidate the Convention as a relevant mechanism through the strengthening of the mechanisms to monitor compliance and implementation (national measures and presentation of confidence-building measures); the preservation of the legitimate right of the States Parties to industrial and technological development in the field of life sciences for peaceful purposes and the promotion of a periodic update of the recommendations of the Convention according to advances in science and technology. It is highlighted that in 2021 the Review Conference of this Convention will be held, which is why the full development of the discussions on such fines is considered essential.
Finally, it should be noted that based on the lessons learned by the SG Mechanism with the establishment of the Mission for Investigation in Syria, a whole series of training courses for roster experts have been developed since 2016, which took place in Europe and Oceania and at the UN headquarters in New York. In 2019 trainings took place in Europe and Asia. Members of the European Union have also contributed with the preparation of their analytical laboratories to offer assistance to the Mechanism if necessary. In February 2020, the Office for Disarmament Affairs had expressed interest in holding an activity to promote the Secretary-General's Mechanism in Latin America in 2020. This reflects the intention of continuous updating and dissemination by the Mechanism.