Speech by Vasyl Bodnar in the Special Session of the Conference of the States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention

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On 26-28 June 2018 Ukrainian Delegation led by Vasyl Bodnar, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, participated in the Special Session of the Conference of the States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention which took place in the Hague, the Netherlands.

The aim of the conference was to consider recent cases of the chemical weapons use in a number of countries as well as to identify possible mechanisms to prevent such use in the future.

Deputy Minister Vasyl Bodnar in his statement during the special session, inter alia, expressed deep appall about the repeated use of chemical weapons in Syria, Iraq, Malaysia and, most recently in the United Kingdom; the facts that have been confirmed by the Fact-Finding Missions of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and reflected in a number of their reports. He also stressed upon the importance to investigate the above-mentioned facts, to identify possible sources of chemical weapons, and to take effective actions towards those involved not only in the use of chemical weapons but also in shielding perpetrators of such crimes from responsibility.

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Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine appealed the international community to remain vigilant against those who do not hesitate to use weapons of mass destruction, against those who defend the perpetrators of the use of chemical weapons, against those who distort clear facts and manipulate them with an attempt to discredit independent international entities and obstruct their work. Vasyl Bodnar underlined that all of that has become a hallmark of the Russian Federation’s position on this issue and Ukraine deeply regrets that the Joint Investigative Mechanism’s mandate has been blocked by this country.

In spite of desperate attempts of the Russian Federation and its satellites to block the negotiation process, the draft decision proposed by the United Kingdom addressing the threat from the chemical weapons use has been adopted by the vast majority of participating States. The approved decision condemns unequivocally the use of chemical weapons by anyone, be it State or non-State actors, anywhere, and under any circumstances, as well as expresses support and appreciation for the professional, impartial, and independent work of the Director General and the OPCW Technical Secretariat to achieve the object and purpose of the Chemical Weapons Convention. The decision also upholds the role of the OPCW in conducting investigations of the chemical weapons use and determining the perpetrators of such crimes.

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Participation of the delegation in the conference corresponds with Ukraine’s stance on necessity to prevent the chemical weapons use and to bring the perpetrators to justice. Ukraine consistently advocates a position on the importance of full and irreversible chemical disarmament under effective international control and considers the Chemical Weapons Convention as an effective instrument in this area.