H.E. Mr. Doru COSTEA

Geneva - 27 May 2004 -

Mr. President,

I would like to begin my brief intervention by congratulating you on the occasion of the assumption of the Presidency of the Conference on Disarmament, to wish you a productive mandate, and to assure you that the Romanian delegation will continue to engage in any initiative you may launch during your tenure aimed at engaging this body in substantive work.

Mr. President,

In keeping the tradition of informing the members of the Conference on national recent events and developments in implementing the international documents Romania is a Party to, I am pleased to let you know that the third meeting of the National Authorities of the Eastern-European States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) was held in Bucharest, between 17 and 19 May.

The meeting was organised jointly by the Romanian Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) National Authority, the National Agency for Export Controls (ANCEX), and the OPCW and was attended by the representatives of 25 National Authorities belonging to all regions of the world, as well as the international organisations, the World Customs Organisation (WCO), and the European Council of Chemical Industry Associations (CEFIC).

Participants discussed the practical measures needed to fulfil the objectives of the OPCW Article VII Action Plan on enhancing the effectiveness of the CWC's National Implementation Measures. In the course of the meeting, the status of the Convention's implementation in Eastern Europe was reviewed, focussing on the CWC's requirements for legislative and administrative provisions to monitor and declare transfers of Scheduled chemicals. Participants shared their experience in this topical area, further strengthening the cooperative network established to provide implementation support to individual States Parties.

The United States of American and Romania launched, in this context, an assistance programme for the implementation of the Convention. The end-result of this initiative is a software that is going to be distributed to all National Authorities in need of legal and practical support in the process of applying the provisions of the CWC.

In his opening remarks, OPCW's Director-General Rogelio Pfirter explained that following the adoption of the United Nations' Security Council Resolution 1540, all countries in the world, including States that have not yet joined the CWC, are now obliged under law to implement the CWC's non-proliferation provisions. He also emphasized that the Eastern Europe nations have unanimously renounced weapons of mass destruction and fully support the legal instruments aimed at their elimination. He noted that the Eastern European States Parties are making steady progress in the implementation of the CWC, being able to complete in most cases all implementation-related requirements.

On the occasion of his visit to Romania, the Director-General of the OPCW hold talks with high Romanian officials, who underscored the need to effectively address the international community's growing concerns about the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to non-state actors, including the proliferation of chemical weapons.

Mr. President,

In concluding my brief statement, I would like to express the assessment of the organizers of the event that this third regional meeting of the CWC National Authorities develops the results of the previous meetings - hosted by Slovakia in 2002 and the Czech Republic in 2003 - and will contribute to bolstering the regional network and the international efforts to ensure the CWC's sustainable and effective implementation.

Thank you for your attention.

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