Algiers Chemex-Africa VIP Day: Commitment To Destroy Chemical Weapons Stockpiles
The almost complete activation of the Chemical Weapons Convention in Africa is “conclusive evidence” of African countries’ commitment not to possess or develop such weapons, the Chief of Staff of the People’s National Army, Gen. Said Chengriha, said.
Gen. Chengriha added, on Tuesday at the Pins Maritimes Fairs Palace, in Algiers, during his supervision of the opening ceremony of the Chemex-Africa exercise VIP Day intended for the States-parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention in the African region; “This agreement remains the only non-discriminatory means that has been negotiated at the multilateral level, and which can be implemented to destroy existing stockpiles of chemical weapons, and prevent their development and production of new types that may further exacerbate the complexities of this problem and its danger to humanity.”
In his speech on the occasion, Gen. Chengriha expressed his “sincere thanks to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons for the trust it has placed in Algeria for organizing this regional event”, stressing that Algeria is “convinced of the necessity of strengthening international peace and security, through the prohibition of weapons of mass destruction, including Chemical weapons because of the definite threat they pose to humans and the future of humanity.”
General Chengriha expressed his hope that the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons would pay “special attention” to the organization’s African program while seeking to sustain it and taking into account the regional reality and the specific needs of the African continent, saying: “Also, control over the movement of dual-use chemicals across borders must be strengthened, improving controls on these activities will also allow to address security challenges that involve the potential misuse of chemicals by terrorist groups.”
On the sidelines of the Chemex-Africa exercise VIP Day, the official spokeswoman for the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, Elisabeth Waechter, also welcomed “Algeria’s contribution to common efforts aimed at the destruction of chemical weapons, stressing that Algeria, a State – party to the convention for prohibiting chemical weapons, is an important partner of the OPCW given its support for the execution of the Chemex-Africa exercise, which it describes as important.
For his part, the Director-General of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, Ambassador Fernando Arias Gonzalez, praised “the material and human capabilities that Algeria has harnessed to make this international event a success, in which participants of different nationalities, residents and international observers participated.”
In a statement to the press, after the audience granted to him by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ahmed Attaf, Fernando Arias indicated that Algeria was an “active” country in the field of disarmament.
“We have worked for 26 years for the destruction of all declared chemical weapons in the world (and) complete this great task this year. 70,000 tons of the most dangerous poisons in the world have been destroyed under the supervision of the organization, thanks in support of the 193 Member States, including Algeria which is an active and positive country in the field of disarmament”, he underlined.
The head of the OPCW also indicated that he had the opportunity to discuss with Ahmed Attaf in a “very open and very friendly” manner.
In this regard, he noted a convergence of points of view regarding the need “to work together to guarantee peace and security in the world”.
Fernando Arias concluded by asserting that he hoped that Algeria would continue to have a positive role within the OPCW “to confront the great challenges we face.”
It is worth mentioning that the Chemex-Africa VIP Day program noticed the execution of a simulation exercise of a chemical terrorist attack, by trainees from African countries, including Algeria, followed by the inauguration of an exhibition for professionals in the chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosives fields, as well as specialized companies and organizations concerned by the Convention.
On this occasion, a commemorative postage stamp of the Chemex-Africa event was issued, in the presence of the Minister of Post and Telecommunications, Karim Bibi Triki.