Concerned over terror groups acquiring chemical weapons, India has said that international community must take urgent measures and decisive actions to prevent possibility of any future use of such weapons.
Participating in a debate on weapons of mass destruction here on Wednesday, Ambassador DB Venkatesh Varma, Permanent Representative to the Conference on Disarmament, Geneva said that ‘New Delhi is deeply concerned with reports of acquisitions of chemical weapons and their delivery system by terrorist groups and continuing use of chemical weapons and toxic chemicals in Syria and Iraq by terrorists’.
“It has been our consistent position that the use of chemical weapons anywhere, at anytime by anybody under any circumstances cannot be justified and the perpetrators of such abhorrent acts must be held accountable,” Varma said.
“We believe that the international community must take urgent measures and decisive actions to prevent the possibility of any future use of chemical weapons," Varma added.
Varma said India has a large and growing chemical industry and also has the second largest number of declared facilities and receives among the largest number of inspections from Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
He underscored that India has a "flawless track record" of verification inspections and believes that the OPCW needs to evolve transparent and objective criteria and modalities for inspections.
"The 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," he said.
Varma told the committee, which deals with disarmament and international security, that India has strong and law-based national export controls consistent with the highest international standards with reference to control of nuclear, chemical, biological and toxin weapons and their means of delivery.
India contributed to international efforts under UN and the OPCW for destruction of Syrian chemical weapons and chemical weapons production facilities (CWPFs) and welcomed the progress made so far in their destruction.
"We would encourage further consultations between Syria and the OPCW with an aim to fully resolve all the outstanding issues in the spirit of trust and cooperation," he said.
He reiterated India's commitment to improving the effectiveness of the Biological Weapons Convention and strengthening its implementation and its universalisation.
With PTI Inputs