Uganda, on Behalf of NAM, Delivers Statement at 105th Session of the Executive Council of the OPCW, The Hague

The 105th Executive Council of the States Parties of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) commenced today, March 5, 2024, in The Hague, Netherlands, with an opening statement by Director-General H.E. Fernando Arias. The Executive Council, comprising 41 OPCW Member States elected by the Conference of the States Parties every two years, oversees the activities of the Technical Secretariat and promotes the effective implementation and compliance with the Convention.

Ambassador Beatrice Pacunega Manano, Charge D’Affaires a.i. of Uganda in Brussels, delivered a robust statement on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) member States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention and China at the OPCW Headquarters in The Hague. She emphasized the importance of ensuring the full, effective, and non-discriminatory implementation of all provisions of the Convention, particularly in the areas of International Cooperation and Assistance, including economic and technological development.

Expressing regret, Ambassador Manano noted that no meeting of the Coordination Mechanism to revitalize existing facilitations had been convened since its creation. She reiterated the call on the Chairperson of the Executive Council to redouble efforts for the balanced and non-discriminatory implementation of all provisions of the Convention, in line with the position paper of the NAM CWC States Parties and China.

On disarmament, Ambassador Manano reaffirmed the NAM’s commitment to general and complete disarmament under strict international control, including the prohibition and elimination of all weapons of mass destruction. She emphasized that the existence and proliferation of such weapons pose a significant threat to international peace and security, highlighting the importance of the full implementation of the Convention in contributing to regional and international peace and security.

Regarding the situation in Gaza, Ambassador Manano stressed that actions by the Israeli occupation prohibited under international law require vigilance by international organizations, including the OPCW. She underscored the NAM’s stance that the use of chemical weapons anywhere, by anyone, under any circumstances is unacceptable, urging the technical secretariat to monitor the situation in Palestine, including any threats or actual use by Israel, of toxic chemicals.

In the NAM Statement, Ambassador Manano requested that the OPCW investigate any possible use of chemical weapons in Israel’s aggression against the Palestinian people in Gaza and remain prepared to take appropriate measures by the Convention if necessary, for prompt and effective response to such incidents in the future.

The 105th session is scheduled to adjourn on March 8, 2024.