ممثلية المملكة العربية السعودية في هولندا Kingdom of the Netherlands The Embassy Embassy News STATEMENT BY THE DELEGATION OF THE KINGDOM OF SAUDI ARABIA AT THE SEVENTY-EIGHTH SESSION OF THE EXECUTIVE COUNCIL STATEMENT BY THE DELEGATION OF THE KINGDOM OF SAUDI ARABIA AT THE SEVENTY-EIGHTH SESSION OF THE EXECUTIVE COUNCIL Last updated: 5/27/2015 2:59 PM Page Image Image CaptionOPCW Page ContentSTATEMENT BY THE DELEGATION OF THE KINGDOM OF SAUDI ARABIA AT THE SEVENTY-EIGHTH SESSION OF THE EXECUTIVE COUNCILMr Chairperson,Excellency the Director-General,Ladies and gentlemen, At the outset, it is my pleasure to extend my sincere thanks to the Chairperson for his excellent efforts and to express our full confidence that he will steer this session to a successful conclusion. I also thank the Director-General of the OPCW, his aides and the Technical Secretariat staff for their great efforts to develop the work of this Organisation andfor the detailed reports.I take this opportunity to reaffirm the importance that my country’s delegation attaches to the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention. Indeed, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was one of the first States to join international treaties on the prohibition and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and conventions on the prohibition and regulation of hazardous materials and the strengthening of international cooperation for protection against such weapons and materials. Chief among these conventions are the Chemical Weapons Convention, the Biological Weapons Convention and the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has organised numerous workshops as well as training and awareness courses, in cooperation with relevant international organisations, the United Nations and its bodies, including the United Nations Security Council Committee mandated with monitoring the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004). Adopted under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, this resolution calls for the prohibition of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons and their production materials, and for preventing terrorist and criminal groups from gaining access to, or using, such weapons.The delegation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has viewed the report by the Director-General on the progress made in the destruction of Syrian chemical weapons and appreciates the enormous efforts put in by the OPCW and the progress achieved in the removal and destruction of the Syrian declared chemical weapons under extraordinaryworking conditions. None of this, however, eases our serious concern over many issues, including in the first place, inaccuracy of data in the Syrian declarations, since to date it has not been ascertained 100% that no chemical weapons remain in the possession of the Syrian regime. We, therefore, encourage the Technical Secretariat to continue its efforts to confirmthe correctness and accuracy of the Syrian declarations. My country’s delegation wishes also to express its concern over reports by international news agencies this morning that the Syrian regime has launched an attack with toxic gases against the village of Sarmin in Idlib province, in north-western Syria, causing victims. My delegation has supported and voted for the decision entitled “Reports of the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission in Syria” adopted in February 2015 by the Executive Council at its Forty-Eighth Meeting. The decision expressed serious concern over the findings of the Fact-Finding Mission, made with a high degree of confidence, that chlorine had been used asa weapon. In this connection, we encourage the continuation of the work of the Fact-Finding Mission according to a well-defined time frame in order to bring before international justice those who perpetrated the crime of using chemical weapons. We also welcome United Nations Security Council resolution 2209 (2015), adopted on 6 March, on the same matter.The Convention contains provisions on the economic and technological development and international cooperation in the field of chemical activities for purposes not prohibited under the Convention. While we appreciate past efforts in this regard, we are however of the view that there is a pressing need for further action to achieve the requirements of Article XI, particularly with regard to the transfer to developing States of technology, equipment and expertise relevant to chemical industries not prohibited under the Convention, and the removal of barriers put up by many States to such transfer. This will help strengthen international economic development for the benefit of all parties and, in particular, will help developing States boost their growth and productivity rates and shift from consumer to advanced and knowledge-based societies.My delegation also calls for a more robust implementation of Article X concerning the provision of assistance and protection by the OPCW and States that are able to do so to other States Parties, as needed and upon request.The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is making every possible effort to support activities related to the implementation of Article VII, including through the timely submission of its annual declarations and the holding of numerous workshops and training courses in coordination with the OPCW. The last such event was a training and awareness-raising course on protection from toxic chemicals and biological materials, held in February 2015, in Riyadh,with the participation of former OPCW experts. In conclusion, I request that this statement be issued as an official document of the Seventy-Eighth Session of the Executive Council and posted on the OPCW official website.I thank you for your kind attention.