Statement by Jean-Yves Le Drian – Chemical weapons – Conference of the States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention (26-27 June 2018)
I welcome the holding of the fourth special session of the Conference of the States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention on June 26 and 27 in The Hague.
France, with 10 other partner states, asked that this meeting be held.
The use of a chemical weapon in Salisbury, in the United Kingdom, on March 4, followed by a major chemical weapon attack on April 7 in Syria, killing several dozen people, constituted an exceptional chain of events that required an exceptional response.
My partners and I considered that these two events, and the global context of the re-emergence of chemical weapons, demanded a strong response by the organization responsible for this issue.
France supports the draft decision brought by 22 States, to be voted on by the States Parties meeting today.
This text proposes to strengthen the means of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), and in particular, to establish an investigative mechanism responsible for determining those responsible for the use of chemical weapons in Syria.
Such a mechanism is vital to reaffirm the prohibition on using these weapons and to deter their use.