Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)
Joint Statement on behalf of the People's Republic of China, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Russian Federation, the Syrian Arab Republic, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
We, the States-Parties, share the concerns of Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Poland, New Zealand, Romania, United Kingdom and the United States of America over the continuing use of chemical weapons, notwithstanding international legal ban.
We believe that it is necessary to emphasize the importance of the implementation by all States-Parties of their commitments, including the destruction of chemical weapons stockpiles and abandoned chemical weapons, entirely, timely and in good faith.
According to Article VIII of the Convention the Conference is the principal policy-making organ of the Organisation composed of all its members and it is entrusted to consider all issues of high importance for the object and purpose of the Convention. The CSP is convened on a regular basis and holds annual sessions and special review conferences every five years. This provides for having discussions on matters of concern in a scheduled manner without involving special session. Now, the preparations are under way with regard to the annual session of the Conference, as well as the Forth Review Conference.
Given the unique status of the CSP as well as the time, financial, and human resource spending related to the preparation of this event, we axe of the view that for convening the Special Session of the CSP it is necessary to have, first and foremost, a meaningful and highly important reason directly related to the object and purpose of the Convention. Thus, it is not only about complying with the procedural requirements, including a formal request of a State-Party supported by one third of the Member-States.
The Explanatory Memorandum attached to the Technical Secretariat's Note with the formal request of a group of Member-States to convene a Special Session of the CSP does not allow to identify such a reason. The expressed "concern" over the continuing use of chemical weapons does not constitute such a reason. This issue should be discussed either during a regular session of the Conference or at a Review Conference. Moreover, this topic is currently scheduled to be discussed at regular Executive Council sessions in July and October.
The initiative to convene urgently a special session of the Conference, in the absence of a significant reason, makes us doubt that the requesting Member-States are really concerned about fulfilling the commitments under the CWC as well as their respect to the principal policy-making organs. This is the evidence of the ongoing attempts to misuse the Convention and the Rules of Procedure of the Conference in selfish and opportunistic purposes.