Madam Chairperson,
Excellency, the Director-General,
Excellencies, Heads of delegation,

      I am pleased to congratulate you, Excellency, Ambassador of Croatia, on your election as Chairperson of this  Conference, and wish you success in your tasks and responsibilities. I take this opportunity to express my appreciation to your predecessor, H.E. Ambassador of the Republic of Iraq, for his able chairmanship of the previous session of the Conference.

Likewise, I am pleased to commend once again the enormous efforts by the Director-General, H.E. Mr Ahmet Üzümcü, in his management of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. I also thank all the Technical Secretariat staff for their successful efforts. We endorse the statement delivered this morning on behalf of the States Parties members of the Non-Aligned Movement and China. In keeping with its policy aiming at the elimination of all types of weapons of mass destruction under strict and effective international control, in accordance with the first paragraph of the preamble to the Convention, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia re-emphasises

the importance of its implementation. The commitment of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the Convention, and its interest in its implementation at the national and international levels, reflect its policy aiming at making an

effective contribution to efforts for the prohibition and non-proliferation of all types of weapons of mass destruction, with a view to making the Middle East a zone free of such lethal weapons. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has called upon the international community on several occasions to provide the necessary support for achieving this objective which we believe to be a legitimate right for peoples in the region, and is a major support for its security and stability.

There is no doubt that the failure to complete the destruction of chemical weapons stockpiles is a source of concern for all. We hope that possessor States will meet their obligations as early as possible and take the measures stipulated in the relevant decision by the Sixteenth Session of the Conference of the States Parties. Destruction plans submitted by those States demonstrate their commitment and transparency in this regard. The completion of

destruction operations as early as possible will indisputably be a turning point in the history of the OPCW, and will be in everyone’s interest. Indeed, if the OPCW is to move forward toward wider horizons with respect to its future priorities, the issue of completion of destruction of the said stockpiles needs to be resolved effectively. Furthermore, necessary safeguard measures against the re-emergence and proliferation of chemical weapons need to be taken. I wish, in this respect, to commend the OPCW Technical Secretariat for its important role in the verification of destruction activities. This role must be enhanced in order for it to maintain its performance at the required level.

The use of chemical weapons, under any circumstances, cannot be tolerated. It is reprehensible and must be denounced and condemned in the strongest terms, for it violates the ethical and legal standards of the international community.

The delegation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has viewed the report by the Director-General concerning the elimination of the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons programme, and expresses its appreciation of the enormous efforts made by the OPCW and the progress achieved in the removal and destruction of declared Syrian chemical weapons. All this, however, cannot alleviate our serious concern over several issues, the most important of which is the lack of accuracy in Syrian declaration data, as, to date, it has not been confirmed with the highest degree of certainty that no chemical weapons remain in the possession of the Syrian regime. In this respect, we encourage the Technical Secretariat to continue its efforts to obtain the information required from the Syrian regime. We also point out the repeated and continuing use of chlorine gas against the Syrian people. This is a blatant violation of the legal instrument of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

We welcome the finding reached by the Fact-Finding Mission investigating the chemical weapons attack in its second report issued on 10 September last. The report clearly points out the systematic and repeated use of such weapons from helicopters, causing thousands of casualties amongst the Syrian people. This is strong proof that it was the Syrian regime which used those weapons, as it is the only party possessing helicopters. We encourage the

Mission continuing its work until those responsible for those barbaric, immoral and inhuman attacks are held accountable and brought before international justice. We reiterate our support to and endorsement of the “Statement on behalf of 52 States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention” on the continuing use of chemical weapons in Syria, delivered during the Seventy-Seventh Session of the Executive Council in October last. Moreover, the 12

remaining chemical weapons production facilities must be destroyed expeditiously.

The Syrian regime is required to comply with its obligations immediately and without procrastination, in accordance with the decisions of the Executive Council and United Nations Security Council resolution 2118 (2013).

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is making every possible effort to support activities related to the implementation of Article VII of the Convention, including submitting its annual declarations within the specified deadlines and holding several workshops and training courses in coordination with the OPCW. Also, my country’s delegation calls for further implementation of Article X of the Convention related to the provision of assistance and protection by the OPCW and States Parties that are able to do so, to other States parties, where needed and upon request. The Convention emphasises the importance of enhancing the economic and technological development as well as international cooperation in the field of chemical activities for purposes not prohibited thereunder. While we appreciate past efforts in this regard, we are however of the view that further efforts need to be made urgently in order to implement the

requirements of Article XI of the Convention, in particular with respect to transfer to developing States of technology, equipment and expertise in chemical industries not prohibited under the Convention, and removal of barriers imposed by many States in this area. This will contribute to enhancing international economic development and will be beneficial for all.

Finally, I request that this statement be considered as an official document of the Nineteenth Session of the Conference of the States Parties and posted on the OPCW official website.
Thank you for your attention.