Easy Access To Raw Material, Internet Makes Easier For Terrorists To Produce Chemical Weapons: India

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Raising alarm over mounting threats posed by chemical weapons, India on Wednesday said easy access to raw materials and technical know-how, including through the internet, makes it relatively easier for terror groups to produce them.

Addressing the 89th session of the Executive Council of the Organisation for Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) here, India expressed concern over allegations of use of chemical weapons in different parts of the world.

“India is also deeply worried about the reports of the so-called Islamic State or ISIS/ISIL acquiring chemical weapons and their delivery systems. We request the Technical Secretariat to closely monitor this threat and report to the Executive Council on this emerging challenge,” Ambassador and Permanent Representative of India to OPCW, Venu Rajamony said.

Any allegations of use of chemical weapons should be addressed in an effective and timely manner and strictly in accordance with the provisions of the convention, he said.

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“All investigations in this regard should be impartial and objective and must strive to establish facts and reach evidence-based conclusions,” Rajamony said.

He said OPCW has achieved much success in moving towards the goal of a world free of chemical weapons and the threat of their use.

However, there is no room for complacency especially in the light of emerging challenges such as discovery of new toxic chemicals and rapid advancements in deployment and dissemination of chemical weapons, Rajamony said.

“Easy access to raw materials and technical knowhow, including through the internet makes it relatively easier for criminal elements to produce chemical weapons. Emergence of non-state actors further complicates the situation,” he said.

Rajamony said more than 96 per cent of chemical weapons stockpiles declared by possessor states have been destroyed under OPCW verification.

India hopes that the remaining chemical weapons stockpiles will also be destroyed soon, he said.

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