Peace, security responsibility of member states: Uzumcu
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Dr. Ahmet Uzumcu, director-general of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), The Hague, has said that the CWC treats peace and security as a collective responsibility of all member states.
Dr. Uzumcu was speaking as chief guest at a seminar on ‘Multilateral Cooperation for Security: The Example of Chemical Weapons Convention’ organised by the Institute of Strategic Studies (ISS) in collaboration with South Asian Strategic Stability Institute, Quaid-i-Azam University and the National Defence University.
Dr Uzumcu said that the CWC verified the destruction of over 71% of international weapon stockpiles, adding that the development of national preparedness was an essential task so that states could respond appropriately in the eventuality of an attack or accident. He said that more than 2,000 verifications had been conducted in over 80 countries. He acknowledging the support extended by Pakistan to the OPWC and predicted that by 2016 only 1% of weapons will remain to be destroyed.
He appreciated Pakistan’s constructive role in helping the OPCW reach its target of a world free of chemical weapons. He said that the value and importance of multilateralism depended greatly on sustainable progress, especially since there was no alternative to combat current and future international challenges in a globalised world. He said that the case of chemical weapons in particular should provide hope and encouragement.
SASSI Director-General Maria Sultan stressing on the role of NGOs under the CWC lauded the OPWC for having taken tremendous initiative. She said there needs to be continued working on policy-making at the micro and macro levels in order to create a successful interface for effective negotiation.
Dr. Irfan Yusuf Shamsi, director-general (disarmament) at the CWC National Authority, said that the convention remained to be the only international treaty in recent history that unilaterally and uncategorically called for the complete destruction of chemical weapons. He said that both the CWC and the OPWC were fundamental cornerstones in international disarmament.
Air Commodore Khalid Banuri, director of the ACDA, Strategic Plans Division, said that the CWC is the most widely recognised and groundbreaking treaty, as its implementation was a robust example of effective multilateralism at work.
He said that the threat to international peace and security must take top-priority and mutual cooperation is the only way to ensure the security.
Dr. Zafar Jaspal from the QAU said that increasing globalisation and fast paced development made it extremely difficult to control and monitor the proliferation of weapons. In particular he pointed to the dual use of technology and how this phenomenon coincided with increasingly porous borders to make the proliferation of chemical and biological weapons a very serious threat to mankind.
Gul Hanif, chairperson of the ISS, and Brigadier Muhammad Khurshid, NDU, also spoke on the occasion.