STATEMENT BY H.E.MR.TOSHIO SANO
AMBASSADOR EXTROADINARY AND PLENIPOTENIARY
PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF JAPAN
TO THE CONFERENCE ON DISARMAMENT
AT THE FIRST COMMITTEE OF THE 68TH SESSION
OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
THEMATIC DEBATE: OTHER WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION
23 OCTOBER 2013, NEW YORK
The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) has significantly contributed to the goals of the United Nations in terms of promoting international peace and security through disarmament by banning the development, production, acquisition, stockpiling, retention, transfer or use of chemical weapons in an effectively verifiable manner.
Japan expressed its deep concern from the recent use of chemical weapons in Syria, which wounded many and caused a considerable death toll, which included innocent women and children. The use of chemical weapons is not permissible under any circumstances. To this end, we welcome the unanimous adoption of the Security Council resolution 2118 which reinforced the decision of the OPCW (Executive Council of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons), as well as the establishment of an OPCW-United Nations Joint Mission, as a basis for concrete steps to eliminate such inhumane weapons. Japan strongly urges the Government of Syria to comply faithfully and fully with the chemical weapons elimination program set forth in the decision of the Executive Council of OPCW and the Security Council resolution. Japan will provide thorough support and the greatest possible cooperation towards the international community’s endeavor to dispose of Syria’s chemical weapons.
Japan congratulates the OPCW on winning the Nobel Peace Prize, which shows the wide recognition of and expectation for the OPCW for its contributions to total prohibition and non-proliferation of chemical weapons globally.
While we highly commend the wide adherence to the Convention, with 190 States Parties joining, the universalisation of the CWC has become increasingly important given the current international security environment.
We praise the continued efforts made by the major chemical weapon possessor states for the destruction of their stockpiles. With the verifiable destruction of more than three quarters of all declared stockpiles of chemical weapons, the destruction of chemical weapons will still remain the core objective of the Convention pending its completion.
In order to continuously adapt to the rapidly changing international security environment, it is high time for us to consider the future of the CWC. In this regard, Japan welcomes the final report of the Third Review Conference and stresses the importance of implementing the recommendations in the said report.
Against the backdrop of global efforts towards preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, including to non-state actors, the CWC is expected to perform more important roles than ever in this respect.
Japan has steadily implemented the obligations of the CWC and has played a constructive part in promoting the effective achievement of the Convention’s objectives. Moreover, as the second largest contributor and a continuous member of the Executive Council, Japan has been heavily involved in the operation and development of the Convention. We have also been active in the field of international cooperation including assisting the relevant States Parties’ efforts towards improving national implementation of the Convention.
We take our obligations under the CWC seriously, and as such Japan is committed to the destruction of abandoned chemical weapons (ACWs) in China and has achieved significant progress through steady and sustained efforts. We have invested enormous human and financial resources in order to address the unprecedented and technically challenging tasks for the destruction of ACWs.
The results are evident. Japan has already destroyed more than 37,000 ACWs with mobile destruction facilities deployed in China. Moreover, we have been preparing earnestly for setting up additional destruction facilities.
Japan, with the appropriate cooperation of China, is resolved to fully complete the destruction of all abandoned chemical weapons and will do its utmost to this end.
Like the CWC, the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BWC) has also significantly contributed to promoting international peace and security through disarmament.
The rapid advancement in biotechnology has benefited mankind, but at the same time bio-threats posed by the misuse or illicit use of advanced science and technology, particularly by non-state actors, have been growing. In this context, the universalisation of the BWC has become more important than ever before for international security.
Japan welcomes the valuable discussion during the current intercessional process. We will continue to contribute the discussion to produce concrete results toward the next review conference on each set agenda item, namely cooperation and assistance under Article X, review of development in the field of science and technology related to the Convention, strengthening national implementation, enabling fuller participation in Confidence-Building Measures, and strengthening implementation of Article VII.
In order to strengthen the BWC, Japan as a leading country in the field of life science as well as a member of the JACKSNNZ group, has been an active participant in the various topics under discussion in the BWC. Japan will carry on its efforts to strengthen BWC implementation, with an especial focus on responses to the rapid advances in science and technology related to the Convention and the dual-use issues involved therein.
I thank you Mr. Chairman.