ISIS: ISIS may acquire chemical weapons: India


NEW DELHI: India has expressed deep concern on the reports of the so-called ‘Islamic State’ or ISIS/ISIL acquiring chemical weapons and their delivery systems and described it as an emerging challenge.

Addressing the 90th Session of the Executive Council (EC) of Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) on March 12, 2019, Permanent Representative of India, Ambassador Venu Rajamony pointed out that despite best efforts of the OPCW, there has been an increase in allegations and incidents of use of chemical weapons in different parts of the world.

Describing these as a matter of grave concern, Rajamony said the use of chemical weapons is in complete disregard of humanity and is reprehensible and contrary to the provisions of the Chemical Weapons Convention as well as accepted international legal norms.

India fully shares the increasing concern over the possibility of use of chemical weapons and expresses its deepest sympathies to the victims of chemical weapon attacks and their families.

Rajamony said in his statement that it has been India’s consistent position that the use of chemical weapons anywhere, at any time, by anybody, under any circumstances, cannot be justified and the perpetrators of such abhorrent acts must be held accountable.

Any allegations of use of chemical weapons must continue to be addressed in an effective and timely manner and strictly in accordance with the Convention, utilizing all its provisions. All investigations in this regard should be impartial and objective and must strive to establish facts and reach evidence-based conclusions.

Reiterating India’s deep concern on the reports of the so-called ‘Islamic State’ or ISIS/ISIL acquiring chemical weapons and their delivery systems, Rajamony requested the Technical Secretariat to closely monitor this threat and report to the EC on this emerging challenge.

Rajamony said that efforts in the OPCW should help to eliminate all possibilities of any future use of chemical weapons and uphold the global norm against use of chemical weapons. In the constantly evolving global security environment, there exist daunting challenges such as discovery of new toxic chemicals, advancements in deployment and dissemination techniques, easy access to raw materials and technical knowhow as well as increasing threat of use of chemical weapons by non-state actors. This calls for greater and continued vigilance as well as renewed efforts by both OPCW and the member states towards preventing the reemergence of chemical weapons and enhancing the adaptive capacity of the organization.

Rajamony states that as one of the original signatories of the Convention and an active member of the OPCW, India has always emphasized the importance of consensus and the need for all decisions to be taken by the states parties in consultation with one other. India has also stressed the importance of unity amongst states parties to further the goals of the Convention.


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