95th Session of the OPCW Executive Council - Statement by France (6 october 2020, The Hague) [fr]

Statement by Luis Vassy, Ambassador of France to The Netherlands, Permanent Representative of France to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) at the Ninety-Fifth Session of the Executive Council (6 october 2020)

Courtesy translation in English

Mr Chairman, Mr Director General,
Distinguished Ambassadors and delegates,

France aligns itself to the declaration made on behalf of the European Union and would like to add a few points in its national capacity.

Mr Chairman,

The criminal act perpetrated against Mr. Alexeï Navalny on August 20 on the territory of the Russian Federation is of grave concern and is an element of the worrisome context of the reemergence of use of chemical weapons. 27 years ago, we all here, agreed to exclude completely the possibility of use of those weapons, for the sake of humankind.

Light must be shed, without delay and those responsible must be identified and held accountable.

On the basis of its own analysis, France shares the conclusions reached by other European partners on the facts of poisoning using a nerve agent Novichok. France condemns in the strongest possible terms the shocking and irresponsible use of such a chemical agent. The use of chemical weapons anywhere, at any time, by anyone, under any circumstances is unacceptable and contravenes international norms on the prohibition of such weapons.

As stated by the President of the French Republic in his speech at the United Nations General Assembly : "we will not tolerate the use of chemical weapons in Europe, nor in Russia or in Syria. In the name of collective security, I repeat here to Russia that light must be shed on the assassination attempt on a political opponent with a nerve agent, the Novichok. This clarification must be swift and complete".

You know that France is committed to fight impunity for the use of chemical weapons.

Mr Chairman,

The Syrian chemical file is on the agenda of this session of the Executive Council, as it has been the case in the past years, demonstrating the threat of the reemergence of use of chemical weapons on our collective security.

We cannot let this situation undermine the Convention. On the contrary, we should stand united, defend tirelessly and prevent any use of those weapons. In this regard, in adopting the decision tabled by my delegation on behalf of 40 States parties at the 94th session in July 2020, the Executive Council acted pursuant to its mandate, given by States Parties at the Special session of the Conference of States parties in June 2018.

This decision calls on Syria to redress the situation in a reasonable timeframe, setting clear and verifiable parameters. We urge Syria to cooperate with the Technical Secretariat and redress the situation in the reasonable timeframe that we set.

Pursuant to the Executive Council decision, it is to the Conference of the States parties to review compliance with the Convention and take the necessary measures to ensure compliance with the Convention. We hope that constructive and sincere exchanges will take place at the Conference of States parties.

Mr Chairman,

We would like to emphasize once more that the OPCW is a fundamental pillar of our collective security. Considering the worrisome evolutions we are facing today, it seems even more crucial to ensure the OPCW with the budgetary means necessary to implement its mandate and in particular, preventing the reemergence of use of chemical weapons.

This is why we should support the efforts of the OPCW, in submitting the draft programme and budget for 2021 to the Conference for its consideration and adoption, in order to allow the OPCW to implement all the missions we entrusted it with. France therefore supports the draft Programme and Budget for 2021 as presented by the Director General on July 3rd 2020.

Mr Chairman,

I would like this statement to be considered as an official document of this session of the executive council and be published in the OPCW Extranet and public website. I thank you./.

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95ème session du Conseil exécutif de l’OIAC - Déclaration de la France / 95th session Session of the OPCW Executive Council - Statement by France
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- More information : The Ninety-Fifth Session of the OPCW Executive Council

gepubliceerd op 06/10/2020

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