Fiji’s Ambassador, Permanent Representative to the European Union and also the Permanent Representative to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), His Excellency Peceli Vocea headed Fiji’s delegation at the Third Review Conference of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) which commenced on Monday, 8 April in The Hague, Netherlands.
The two weeks long conference is aimed at reviewing the implementation of the CWC as a catalyst for further efforts to consolidate the goals of the first ever multilateral non-discriminatory disarmament treaty, one which offers a credible and effective global response to the threat posed by chemical weapons.
Mr Vocea presented Fiji’s statement to the conference on Tuesday, 9 April, congratulating the OPCW and the support of state parties for the continuous motivation to ensure proper and effective implementation of the Convention, which is in its 16th year of existence resulting in the eradication of 80% of the worlds declared chemical weapons stockpiles to date. He also expressed our earnest commitment towards this effort.
In supporting the promotion of global peace, he welcomed the declaration made by other countries in their obligation to destroy their entire stockpile of chemical weapons and also encouraged the remaining sovereign states still to ratify the CWC, to do so.
“Though we are faced with limited resources and competing legislative demands, Fiji will continue to strive for the effective implementation of the Convention within these challenges as it fully subscribes to the aspirations of the Convention”, Mr Vocea said.
In this regard, Mr Vocea added that improvements may have to be made to strengthen Fiji’s Chemical Weapons Act 2005 to ensure that all pertinent issues are adequately covered such as the empowerment of key agencies in their complimentary regulatory roles of monitoring and controlling the movement of chemicals at the border and within boundaries under our national jurisdiction.
Mr Vocea also called for the enhancement of implementation support for small island states to allow for national and sub-regional level groups to effectively carry out their roles, without placing unnecessary burdens and restricting growth in our small vulnerable economies.