This call was made when Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the Netherlands and Permanent Representative to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Adam M.J. Sadiq addressed the 20th Session of the Conference of the States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention in the Hague.
Speaking on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka during the General Debate of the Conference, Ambassador Sadiq referring to the terrorist attacks in Paris, told the meeting, “While unreservedly condemning the recent cold-blooded terror attacks in Paris and elsewhere in the world, Sri Lanka which lost thousands of innocent lives and suffered wanton damage and destruction of property, due to terrorism, calls upon the international community to stand firm and united in combating terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, irrespective of the source or target of this evil menace”.
Alluding to the centenary of the first large scale use of chemicals during the First World War, which was commemorated earlier in April this year at Ieper, Belgium, Ambassador Sadiq told the audience that the occasion reminded the international community of the horrendous consequences of chemical warfare.
In this context, he pointed out “however, even after a century of experiencing such painful human suffering, we are yet to realize a world free of chemical weapons. The world is today experiencing new waves of terrorism. With the rapid advancement of science and technology, the fear psychosis associated with the potential emergence of terrorist groups with chemical weapons capability continues to grow, demanding new preventive measures and global cooperation”.
He further noted “in this backdrop, the role of the OPCW remains indispensable and vital in the global struggle towards disarmament and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The OPCW must be commended for its dedicated efforts in pursuing effective disarmament measures to prevent the re-emergence of chemical weapons and deter chemical terrorism”.
Sri Lanka’s Ambassador also spoke of the relationship between the OPCW and Sri Lanka and noted “the capacity building programme on the Safe and Secure Management of Hazardous Substances held in Sri Lanka in September this year in collaboration with Holcim Lanka Ltd. He also referred to the OPCW Associate Program 2015, in which Load Star (Pvt) Company Ltd of Sri Lanka hosted the industrial attachment of two participants from Tunisia and Poland in September 2015, enabling them to gain practical experience in a sophisticated industrial environment”.
The Conference of States Parties is the plenary organ comprising 192 members of the OPCW and is empowered to oversee the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). Sri Lanka, as an early signatory of the CWC in January 1993, remains committed to the principles on which the OPCW was founded. (Colombo Gazette)