ISLAMABAD: The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Director-General Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü on Wednesday called for elimination of chemical weapons.
While speaking at a seminar “Achievements of OPCW and its future role in post-destruction phase” organised by the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI), he said that at a time when chemical weapons were still being used to horrific effect, “we owe it to ourselves, and our future generations to do away with these weapons, once and for all.”
Üzümcü said that the allegations that ISIS had used chemical weapons had opened a new chapter in the threat posed by chemical terrorism.
He said that the use of chemical weapons in Syria in August 2013 triggered an extraordinary set of events.
Üzümcü said that the challenges of the future must be met with resolve and cooperation.
He said that the matter of chemical weapons was a politically-charged issue in the Gulf region.
Üzümcü said that the OPCW would continue its efforts to achieve its goal.
The ambassador also appreciated Pakistan’s support for the noble aims of the convention.
He further added that Pakistan had been playing an active role, both nationally and regionally to ensure readiness and preparedness in the event of a chemical attack.
Üzümcü said that Pakistan had been instrumental in sharing expertise and assets for training throughout the region.
Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry said that the Nobel Prize for Peace awarded to OPCW in December 2013 was indeed a befitting tribute to the dynamic leadership of Ambassador Üzümcü.
He said that Pakistan had actively participated in the negotiations to finalise the text of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) in the conference on disarmament.
The secretary said that Pakistan had full confidence in the leadership of Ambassador Uzumcu.
The ISSI Director-General, Masood Khan appreciated the role of OPCW since its inception and highlighted the achievements of OPCW. He said that Pakistan had an impeccable record on chemical weapons.
He said chemical weapons were a bane and their use was a crime against humanity.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 19th, 2015.
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