indonesia urges to intensify cooperation on peaceful use of chemicals

London, UK (ANTARA News) – Indonesian Ambassador to the Netherlands I Gusti Agung Wesaka Puja, also Indonesias permanent representative to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), emphasized strengthening international cooperation on using chemicals for peaceful purposes.

The remark was made by the ambassador at the Conference of the OPCW States Parties being held in Denhaag, the Netherlands, on November 27-December 1, 2017, according to a statement from the Indonesian Embassy in The Hague received by ANTARA here on Thursday.

Indonesia has been nominated as a member of the OPCW Executive Board for the 2018-2020 period.

Ambassador Puja highlighted the importance of intensifying cooperation, especially for developing countries to advance their national chemical industry as affirmed in the Convention on Chemical Weapons.

He explained that the convention not only regulates the destruction of chemical weapons, which are currently owned by some countries, but also reiterates the importance of using chemicals for peaceful purposes, such as in the areas of research, trade, and industry.

“Indonesia is committed to supporting programs in which participants from different countries can share their expertise and experience with each other,” he remarked.

This year, three capacity-building programs will be held in Indonesia: a workshop on integrated chemical management in Jakarta, training on providing relief and protection in Bali, and a three-week chemical industry apprenticeship program under the associate program scheme at one of the chemical companies in Karawang, West Java.

Indonesia is also prioritizing capacity building programs for handling incidents involving chemicals. Indonesia lauded the visit of the director general of OPCW to Jakarta in July 2017 that resulted in several cooperation agreements on capacity building being inked between the OPCW and Indonesia.

During the visit, a discourse was held with the permanent representatives of countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and their dialog partners on the establishment of the center of excellence in Chemical Weapons Convention in the ASEAN.

ASEAN is viewed as an important and strategic partner of the OPCW on issues of disarmament and non-proliferation of chemical weapons since the declaration on chemical weapons was agreed by the ASEAN Leaders of East Asian countries at the Summit in Manila on November 16, 2017.

At the OPCW Conference, the ambassador highlighted several cases of the use of chemical weapons, such as that in Khan Shaykhun, Syria, on April 2017, which was a violation of the international law and the Convention on Chemical Weapons.

Source: ANTARA News