United Nations: India has said recent events in Syria demonstrate the need for complete destruction of chemical weapons stockpile to ensure that terrorists and non-state actors are prevented from acquiring it.
"The use of chemical weapons anywhere and by anyone must be condemned and the international norm against the use of chemical weapons must be rigorously enforced," visiting member of the Parliament, Ashwani Kumar, said at the UN General Assembly yesterday on the issue of Weapons of Mass Destruction.
He said India attaches high importance to the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), which are examples of non-discriminatory treaties.
"Recent events in Syria have demonstrated the importance of complete destruction and elimination of chemical weapons stockpiles in the world as soon as possible and the need to ensure that terrorists and non-state actors are prevented from acquiring access to these weapons," he said.
Kumar said that India supports the ongoing efforts of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) for the expedited destruction and elimination of chemical weapons stockpiles in Syria.
He said disarmament is a primary goal of the Chemical Weapons Convention and should remain the top priority till the complete destruction of all chemical weapons is achieved.
He added that the OPCW needs to evolve transparent and objective criteria and modalities for inspections and provisions of the Convention should be implemented in a manner that does not hinder legitimate activities, especially in countries like India with a large and growing chemical industry.
"India is committed to improving the effectiveness of the BWC and strengthening its implementation and universalisation.
"We believe this is necessary in view of the new challenges to international peace and security emanating from proliferation trends, including the threat posed by terrorists and other non-State actors seeking access to biological agents for terrorist activities," he added.
Kumar pointed out that one area where the BWC`s focus is inadequate is an effective mechanism for verification of compliance.
"In a multilateral treaty such as the BWC, verification of compliance is critically important for States Parties to be collectively assured that the provisions of the Convention are being implemented by all States Parties," he added.
India has a broad based regulatory framework to prevent the misuse of biological science and technology, Kumar said adding that one of the issues to which India attaches due importance is that of export controls.
India has strong and law-based national export controls which fulfil its obligations under these Conventions and is committed to maintaining the highest international standards with reference to control of chemical, biological and toxin items.