Chemical Weapons Convention Essay

1353 words - 5 pages

The intention of the Chemical Weapons Convention is to eradicate the problems caused by the mishandling of dangerous chemical weapons, by completely prohibiting the ownership of such weaponry; the fact that ‘more than ten years after the end of the Iran-Iraq war, approximately 30,000 Iranians are still suffering and dying from the effects of chemical weapons deployed by Iraq during the war conflict’ is only one example. The notions of ‘Liberty, equality and fraternity’ are important to the French Republic, and ‘the maintenance of peace and security is one of France’s key areas of action at the UN’ ; consequently, the French Republic welcomes the efforts made in order to minimise the misuse of chemical weapons since the initial drafting of this convention by the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, in September 1992, and hopes that progress towards world peace will continue to be made through careful monitoring and control of chemical weaponry. France holds no chemical weapons, and ratified the CWC in 1995. Moreover, France understands its obligation to uphold the terms of the convention, and to ensure the wellbeing of all its members. The French Republic, therefore, urges for a number of minor but crucial amendments to be made, to ensure all members of the convention are adequately represented.

Some neighbouring countries of France present a threat which can only be combated by means of chemical weapons. One example of a terrorist group, from who the French are in danger, is the Armed Islamic Group of Algeria, who hijacked Air France flight 8969 in 1994. Furthermore, ‘an analysis by a private US intelligence firm of jihadist messages released by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in 2013 shows that France ranked second as the main Western focus of the group’s jihadist propaganda, after the US.’ The French Republic recognises the fact that the conditions in the draft resolution are made in the best interests of the Member States, and are made in order to ensure safety of the citizens of each country. However, if because of the above threats to safety, potentially vulnerable countries such as France are allowed to develop, produce and stockpile chemicals as a precautionary measure, then clause 2aii of the draft resolution, ‘specify the exact location... of chemical weapons it owns or possesses’ no longer applies; supplying such details will put the owners of the chemical weapons under further threat and is detrimental to safety.

Paragraph 1b of the draft resolution states that ‘Purposes of Chemical Weapons Not Prohibited Under this Convention’ includes ‘protective purposes’. France finds ambiguity in this clause and would like to point out that it does not give any state the full authorisation to develop chemical weapons for defence purposes, since clause 11 entirely bans the construction of ‘facilities for the purpose of chemical weapons production’. It must be stressed that a number of countries will feel the need for chemical...

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