Fiji is amongst the States Parties represented at the 24th Session of the Conference of States Parties for the Chemical Weapons Convention from the 25 – 29 November 2019.
The annual meeting is a major policy-making body for the operation of the Convention and promotes the treaty’s objectives and reviews provisions for its compliance.
In addressing the plenary, the Permanent Secretary for Defence and National Security, Manasa Lesuma reiterated Fiji’s support to the objectives of the Convention. Speaking in his capacity as the head of the delegation to the meeting, Lesuma said that Fiji, a small Island State in the South Pacific region, remains a strong advocate of the Chemical Weapons Convention, a critical element of the disarmament and non-proliferation setup.
Lesuma added that it is now critical that all States Parties demonstrate their commitment to strengthening the Convention, the Organization for the Prohibition of the Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and its principles. We need to do this through constructive engagements. Fiji is committed to working closely with the Technical Secretariat of the OPCW on implementation support for the Small Island States in the region.
In August this year, Fiji and the technical Secretariat of the OPCW co-hosted the Regional Workshop on Chemical Emergency Response, Planning, and Management.
The meeting was organized to establish a dialogue between emergency management stakeholders from States Parties of the region with the Technical Secretariat. As well as assess the current state of chemical emergency management capability across the Pacific Islands States.
The Fijian delegation held bilateral discussions with Technical Secretariat and other Pacific Island representatives also present at the annual meeting.
Lesuma used this opportunity to also call on the OPCW to support smaller States in the region, in their attempts to implement the various processes required in the Convention.
Fiji reiterates its full support to the Director-General and the Secretariat for the OPCW for its deeds to fulfill the aspirations and obligations of the Convention and soon to realize a world free of chemical weapons.