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Statements in International Organisations


Statement of the European Union delivered by Dr Tea Petrin Permanent Representative of the Republic of Slovenia at the Fifty-Second Session of the Executive Council of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons

The Hague, 4-7 March 2008

Mr Chairman, Mr Director-General, Distinguished delegates,

I have the honour to take the floor on behalf of the European Union. The candidate countries Turkey, Croatia  and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina, the EFTA country Norway, member of the European Economic area, as well as Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova align themselves with this statement.


Mr Chairman,

The European Union warmly welcomes you back to the chair. We fully trust your experience and wisdom to tackle the important issues that are ahead of us and I can assure you of our full support and cooperation in the discharge of your important responsibilities.


Mr Chairman,

Total destruction of all chemical weapons is one of the main objectives of the CWC. While recognizing the important progress made so far, European Union continues to urge all possessor states to make every effort to fulfil all their obligations under the Convention within the established timelines and to be fully transparent in their destruction activities, both ongoing and planned.

The European Union welcomes the report of the visit by the representatives of the Executive Council to Anniston Chemical Agent Disposal Facility, in the United States in October 2007. The European Union views such visits, which were agreed by the Conference in C-11/DEC.20, as a useful additional measure of transparency and confidence building in attaining the goal of complete destruction of Category 1 chemical weapons stockpiles in accordance with the provisions of the Convention. The European Union therefore looks forward to early proposals by the Russian Federation for a visit to one of their destruction facilities in the course of 2008.

The Detailed Plan of Verification and the Facility Agreement for the Maradykovsky chemical weapons destruction facility are once again before us, and the European Union hopes that agreement will be reached. The European Union wishes to recall in this regard the statement made by the Director-General at the Forty-Ninth Session of the Executive Council, which was reiterated in his statement to the last Conference of States Parties, when he confirmed that destruction will take place under on-site verification in both phases, as required in Article IV of the Convention. The European Union fully agrees with the interpretation of the Director General, given on these occasions. The European Union is pleased that the second phase of the destruction at Maradykovsky has already begun and is under full verification by the Technical Secretariat, but recalls that the documents, under which destruction and verification are conducted, still have to be adopted by the Executive Council.

The European Union is aware that the detailed plan for verification of the destruction of Category 1 chemical weapons, and the facility Agreement regarding on-site inspections at the chemical weapons destruction facility at Leonidovka is now put forward for approval by the EC. The European Union believes that the view of the Director – General on the Maradykovsky Chemical Weapons Destruction Facility, as expressed in his statement at EC-49, should be the guiding principle for consideration of the documents.

The European Union attaches great importance to the timely conclusion of the draft facility agreement and agreed detailed plan for the verification of the destruction of chemical weapons at the Rabta Toxic Chemical Disposal Facility in Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, and wishes to stress the importance of an agreement on these two documents to be finalized and submitted to the Executive Council for approval as soon as possible. The European Union attaches great importance to the need for clarity on the commencement of operations at Rabta.

The European Union also recalls its statement to EC-50 expressing disappointment that the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya will not be in a position to complete the conversion of its chemicals weapons production facilities Rabta Pharmaceutical Factories 1 and 2 by 29 July 2008, as agreed by the Conference in C-10/DEC.10. The European Union urges Libya to make every effort to achieve rapid and timely completion of the conversion.


Mr Chairman,

The Second Special Session of the Conference to review the operation of the CWC in April 2008 will be an important opportunity to look back at the achievements of the organization and to address the future challenges. The European Union strongly believes that the Second Review Conference should prepare for the next phase of the implementation of the CWC.

The work of the Open - Ended Working Group is well under way. The European Union would like to commend Ambassador Lyn Parker, Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland for his work as Chairman of the group, leading the preparatory phase of the Review Conference. The first consolidated draft report will be a sound basis for our future work. The European Union shall approach the conference in a positive and constructive manner.

As expressed by the Presidency at the meeting of the Open-Ended Working Group on 21 February, the European Union is concerned at continuing  protracted discussions on the draft provisional agenda. Many concessions have already been made in order to reach consensus, and the European Union strongly believes that we should continue with more productive preparations for the Review Conference. We continue to believe that the agenda should remain a general outline of the work to be undertaken at the Review Conference, which will be further developed in the report and the political declaration.

The European Union has expressed its common approach to priority issues for the Review Conference through its Common Position of June 2007. The objective of the European Union is to strengthen the CWC, in particular by promoting compliance with the CWC, including the timely destruction of all chemical weapons, and by enhancing its verification regime and striving for universality.

Timely destruction of all chemical weapons continues to be of the utmost importance to the European Union. However, destruction of the weapons of the past must be accompanied by the prevention of new stockpiles being created in the future. It is the conviction of the European Union that in pursuing these goals of the CWC on non-proliferation, it is particularly important to strengthen the industry verification regime by better focused industry inspections, while verification resources should be used in accordance with the risk to the Convention. We have to ensure that the Technical Secretariat has the capacity to select industrial sites on the basis of accurate and relevant information submitted on time, and that the Convention is being implemented to the fullest extent and on a global scale.


Mr. Chairman,

The report on the status of implementation of Article XI clearly reflects the numerous activities being carried out by the Technical Secretariat and in cooperation with Member States. The high quality and cost-effectiveness of international cooperation programmes should continue to be ensured through continuous evaluation by the Secretariat in consultation with States Parties, as requested in the decision taken by the Tenth Conference of States Parties (C-10/DEC.14). The inclusion of information in the report, such as feedback from participants, problems encountered and challenges to be met would assist States Parties to better assess the impact of these activities.


Mr Chairman,

This organisation will not be able fully to implement its programme of work if assessed contributions are not paid in full and in a timely manner by all States Parties and the cost of verification under articles IV and V of the Convention is not reimbursed within the agreed timelines. This is an essential commitment for State Parties. The European Union is concerned by reports that a significant number of States Parties are still not paying their assessed contributions in a timely fashion. The European Union appeals to all the States Parties concerned to rectify their rate of payment in order to ensure the uninterrupted operations of all approved programmes.


Mr Chairman,

The European Union is looking forward to a productive Executive Council under your able guidance.

Thank you.

[1]Croatia and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the Stabilization and Association Process.


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Date: 16.04.2008