Tehran Hosts CWC Regional Meeting

Tehran Hosts CWC Regional Meeting Tehran Hosts CWC Regional Meeting

The 14th Regional Meeting of National Authorities of State Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention in Asia opened in Tehran on May 23 and will run through Wednesday.

On behalf of Iran, Ahmet Uzumcu, director general of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons invited CWC Asian member states to attend the Tehran meeting, Fars News Agency reported.

Having suffered tens of thousands of casualties from Iraq's repeated use of nerve agents and toxic gases during an eight-year war in the 1980s, Iran had sufficient motives to host the meeting and ensure its active role in the OPCW.

Once proven an efficient host of the event, the country's position will expectedly be promoted in the organization and among its member states.

  Opposition to WMDs

The opening speech of the meeting was delivered by Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi who urged the international community to compel Israel to join the OPCW.

"As a country committed to the Chemical Weapons Convention, Iran has made the resolute decision to join international disarmament treaties, particularly the treaties against weapons of mass destruction," he said.

"As a recent victim of chemical warfare, Iran played a key role in the preparation and adoption of the Chemical Weapons Convention. During the imposed war waged by [the former Iraqi dictator] Saddam Hussein, the international community stood by and watched Saddam's regime killing over 100,000 Iranians with chemical weapons," he told 54 representatives from 25 Asian countries participating in the meeting.

The event serves as a forum where the regional state parties can express their requirements for the implementation of the convention, while they can also offer assistance to other member stated for this purpose. The participants are discussing future steps to be taken for the effective implementation of CWC that entered into force 19 years ago.

With 192 member states, the convention is the most inclusive arms control treaty in the world. The CWC obligations are followed at the two levels of international and national by the OPCW and national authorities respectively.