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Permanent Mission of the Republic of the Philippines to the United Nations
H.E. Mr. Ban Ki Moon, Secretary General of the United Nations,
H.E. Mr. Rogelio Pfirter, Director General of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons,
Ministers and Heads of Delegations,
Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, good morning.
It gives me great pleasure to extend to you the felicitations of my government, our people, and my own during this important occasion which commemorates the tenth anniversary of the entry into force of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction. At the outset, I would like to thank the organizers for their hard work in arranging this important High Level Meeting.
The Philippines would like to associate itself with the statement delivered by H.E. Mr. Felipe Perez Roque, Foreign Minister of Cuba on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement. My country recognizes the grave threat that chemical weapons and other types of weapons of mass destruction pose to all mankind and their destructive and harmful effects when unleashed upon populations. The use of Chemical Weapons during wars in the last century showed the severe damage that they cause to a human being. These weapons leave their victims to die in a most gruesome way or, if they survive, are scarred for life. Unfortunately chemical weapons also made their way into the hands of non-state actors and the same were used with deadly results on the civilian population in Tokyo, albeit on a small scale. These events demonstrate the need to rid our planet of these weapons.
It is with this in mind that my country became a State Party to this Convention over a decade ago. The Philippines joins the other States Parties present here today in remembering the victims of chemical weapons and I welcome this opportunity to reaffirm my country’s commitment to the multilateral treaty system, which is the best way of ensuring that these weapons will indeed be eliminated and never be unleashed on countless victims again.
The Philippines recognizes that the full, universal, and non-discriminatory implementation of the Convention contributes to international peace and security and urges all States that are not yet party to the Convention to become so at the soonest possible time.
Furthermore the Philippines calls upon all States Parties to the convention to destroy their chemical weapons stockpiles within the deadlines set by the Conference of States Parties and, at the latest, by 2012. In line with this my country would like to commend Albania, which is the first to completely and verifiably destroy all of its chemical weapons. They successfully eliminated in July of this year 16,678 kilograms of chemical warfare agents. The Philippines congratulates Albania for its achievement.
Ridding the world of chemical weapons is a positive first step in the realm of complete disarmament. We must all remember that disarmament is not the end goal in itself but a means to that elusive objective and principle on which the United Nations was founded, namely, the attainment of international peace and security so that our generation and generations yet to come may have peace for all time.
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