29 June 201818:43

Remarks by Head of the Russian delegation Georgy Kalamanov on the results of voting on the British draft at the fourth special session of the Conference of the States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention, The Hague, June 26-28, 2018


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The Russian Federation categorically objects to the decision made at the fourth special session of the Conference of States Parties (CSP) to the Chemical Weapons Convention.

We consider unacceptable any initiatives aimed at politicising the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and deepening its split. The results of the inquiry conducted by the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism in Syria, on which the UN Security Council did not pass a resolution, were also submitted for discussion at the CSP session on a tip from the initiators of the draft. Our organisation had no right to evaluate the work of the structure that was not set up by it or subordinated to it.

Neither the CSP, nor the Executive Council, nor the Technical Secretariat has a mandate for “attributing” responsibility for CWC violations. The CSP, the main governing body, can act exclusively within the framework of its competence as specified in this international treaty. It is not possible to assign the organisation with an attributive function by making some decisions at a CSP special session. To do this it is necessary to make amendments to the CWC in line with its Article XV.

These circumstances do not allow the Russian delegation to accept as legitimate the decision to create an attributive mechanism within the OPCW.

We consider it important to consolidate rather than destroy the CWC regime. It is unacceptable to create new commitments for States Parties, which they did not undertake when signing this international treaty.

What happened today does not strengthen the CWC regime. Moreover, this leads to many deep political, legal, technical and administrative implications, thereby jeopardising its existence.

The current session of the CPS has created a very dangerous precedent for both the OPCW and the system of international law in general. Only the UN Security Council has the prerogative to take coercive measures as regards states, and attribution is one of the major elements of this competence.

The Russian Federation will meticulously analyse the consequences of the adoption of this counterproductive and unlawful decision in the OPCW, which was imposed on the session by a number of States Parties that ignored the opinion of other members of the organisation, and will take corresponding measures in this respect.

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