This morning the National Statements concluded, and unfortunately with them the NGO and other observers allowance at the meeting. Tomorrow the Commitee of the Whole begins its deliberations behind closed doors.
The afternoon Open Forum was a welcome role reversal from the meetings earlier in the week. At the World Forum the NGOs, academia, and industry observers were at the very back of the room, whereas at the open forum we occupied the first 2 rows. There was a full house at the meeting with delages from several nations piled in at the back of the room. I will provide a bit of an overview of the procedings tomorrow morning.
Written transcripts of the Iranian statement were not provided to the delegates (not a big shock) yesterday during their address, but surprisingly today copies were passed out. If the statement does not become one of those available on the 2nd RevCon website, I will scan it and post it as soon as I get home. It was also the subject of a small middle eastern news article.
Two of the more interesting statements this morning were from Albania and LIbya. Albania is the only CW possesor state to have fully destroyed all of its CW stockpiles, and missed the original April 2007 deadline by only a few weeks. The Albanian representative gave credit to all of the states parties who made it possible for the destruction to be completed. Albania has proved that the goals of the CWC are acheivable, and as such called for the rest of the possesor states to work to meet the 2012 deadline. However, Albania was quick to point out that in their experience, hurdles in the destruction process that are impossible to predict will be encountered and could therefore affect the overall timeline. Albania urged states to keep the OPCW informed and to maintain full transparency as destruction moves forward.
Libya, one of the remaining CW possessor states also spoke this morning. Libya asserted that they are doing their utmost to implement the CWC. They have declared their stockpiles and had OPCW inspections. According to the Libyan representative they have destroyed 100% of their schedule 3 chemicals, 39% of schedule 2 chemicals, and are prepared to fully cooperate with the OPCW and are committed to meeting the 2012 deadline for full destruction (However, Libya has not begun to destroy its Schedule 1 Chemical Weapons yet). Libya did have harsh words for Israel and called on them to adhere to the CWC as their continued non-involvement has serious negative consequences for the implementation of the convention.
We also heard statements from India, Columbia, Nigeria, Thailand, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Zambia, Uganda, Belarus, Morocco, Hong Kong SAR and Argentina.
Here is Richard Guthrie’s third report of the week. It is very descriptively titled “The Second Day of the Conference: Further General Debate.”
And today even further general debate will encompass the morning, but should be finished before the afternoon Open Forum.
Also, OPCW has posted the opening statement of Director General Rogelio Pfirter delivered April 7. There is a continually growing list of National Statements available and I will be providing links in the posts below as more are added.
And finally, there is one interesting new news article this morning: