Chemical weapons – 30th anniversary of the signing of the Chemical Weapons Convention in Paris (Jan. 13, 2023)
On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), which was signed in Paris on January 13, 1993, France reaffirms its absolute commitment to a total ban on chemical weapons. The Chemical Weapons Convention is one of the pillars of the international disarmament framework and the effort to ensure the nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction. It has been signed by 193 nations and has led to the destruction of 99% of declared chemical weapons stockpiles. The destruction of 100% of these stockpiles is a goal that should be met in 2023.
France reiterates its full support for the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). We reaffirm our confidence in the organization’s director-general and all the members of its Technical Secretariat who work independently and with professionalism on a daily basis to oppose the proliferation of chemical weapons and the reemergence of their use.
The States Parties to the CWC pledge to refrain from developing, manufacturing, storing, transferring and using chemical weapons. The production and use of chemical weapons anywhere, ever, by anyone and in any circumstances are unacceptable, and those who use them must be punished. We continue to prioritize the fight against impunity and the total ban on chemical weapons and their use. This fight is fundamental to the effectiveness and credibility of the prohibition regime. It was in this spirit that in 2018, France launched the International Partnership against Impunity for the Use of Chemical Weapons, and on April 21, 2021, by 87 votes out of 102, the OPCW adopted a decision – co-sponsored by 46 members – to suspend some of Syria’s rights under the CWC.
Together with its partners, France will maintain its unwavering commitment to oppose all States and entities that use chemical weapons, both at the OPCW and within all relevant organizations, and it will use all of its available tools to ensure that the use of these weapons does not go unpunished. In this regard, we reiterate our absolute condemnation of the shocking, irresponsible use of nerve agents in the United Kingdom in March 2018 and in Russia in August 2020 against Alexei Navalny. We continue to call on Russia to thoroughly investigate this attack.
Can you confirm that a French-Irish citizen, 64-year-old Bernard Phelan, has been held in Iran since October and is among the 7 nationals known to the Quai d’Orsay? Did he begin a hunger strike on January 1, as reported by certain media outlets? Has he been able to receive a visit from a representative of the French government in Iran? Are you worried about his health? In what circumstances was he arrested?
We have no comment.