The 64th session of the Executive Council of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) opened in The Hague, The Netherlands, on 3 May, 2011. Representatives from 41 members of the Council were present at the session. H.E. Ambassador Zhang Jun, Permanent Representative of China to the OPCW and head of the Chinese delegation, delivered a statement during the general debate of the session and elaborated on Chinese standpoints over key issues concerning chemical weapons destruction, chemical weapons abandoned by Japan in China, future development of the OPCW and chemical industry verification.
H.E. Ambassador Zhang Jun stated that the complete destruction of chemical weapons within the deadline set out by the Chemical Weapons Convention constitutes its core object and purpose, as well as the most important, pressing and overriding task for the OPCW at present and in the years to come. A proper approach and appropriate solution to the issues related to compliance with the final extended deadline is a matter that bears on the credibility and integrity of the Convention, and the gravest challenge that the OPCW faces now. In view of the importance and complexity of the issue of compliance with the final extended deadline, in parallel with the continued informal process, the Council should initiate formal discussions on this subject at an appropriate time. With broad participation by States Parties and open expression of views under the principles of transparency, cooperation and consensus, a solution should be reached that honours the obligations of the Convention, helps to preserve its integrity, and facilitates the long-term development of the OPCW.
In particular, H.E. Ambassador Zhang Jun pointed out that the complete destruction of the chemical weapons abandoned by Japan in China within the deadline prescribed by the Convention is also a matter that bears on its core object and purpose. Over a long period of time, Japanese ACWs have posed a grave threat to people in the affected areas in China in terms of the safety of their life, property and environment. To date, that new discoveries of Japanese ACWs are being made demonstrates the real harm suffered by the Chinese people. China is deeply worried about whether the destruction of Japanese ACWs will be completed within the final extended deadline prescribed by the Convention. China urges Japan to effectively fulfil its duties and obligations under the Convention as the Abandoning State through making all efforts to accelerate the pace of destruction, and notifying the OPCW and China as early as possible about its assessment and projections based on the current situation.
H.E. Ambassador Zhang stated that as an organisation devoted to disarmament, the OPCW should accord top priority to the effective monitoring and verification of chemical disarmament and to this end, allocate adequate financial and personnel resources. Prior to the complete and thorough destruction of CW stockpiles and ACWs, a shift of the focus of work to other areas is both premature and inappropriate. With regards to industry verification, China as the State Party with the largest number of declared industry facilities, attaches importance to the consultations aimed at improving and refining the industry verification regime. To this end, China is in favour of a holistic approach and comprehensive solution fully in line with the relevant provisions of the Convention.
For full text of Ambassador Zhang Jun's statement, please check: http://www.chinaembassy.nl/eng/xwdt/t820043.htm.