Practice Relating to Rule 74. Chemical Weapons
Fiji’s Chemical Weapons Convention Act (2005) provides:
9. – (1) A person who intentionally or recklessly –
(a) develops, produces, acquires, stockpiles, owns, possesses, or retains chemical weapons or transfers, directly or indirectly, chemical weapons to any other person;
(b) uses chemical weapons;
(c) engages in any military preparations to use chemical weapons;
(d) aids, assists, counsels or procures, in any way, any other person to engage in any activity prohibited to State Party under the Convention;
(j) engages in any other activity prohibited to a State Party under the Convention,
commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $1,000,000 or to a maximum term of imprisonment for life or both.
In 2013, a position paper submitted by the Islamic Republic of Iran to the Third Special Session of the Conference of States Parties to Review the Operation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (Third Review Conference) on behalf of the Member States of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) that are States Parties to the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), including Fiji, and China noted:
2. Preamble and international security
2.2 The NAM CWC States Parties and China reiterate their long-standing principled position for the achievement of general and complete disarmament, under strict and effective international control, including the prohibition of all weapons of mass destruction.
3. Destruction of chemical weapons and destruction or conversion of chemical weapons production facilities
3.1 The NAM CWC States Parties and China call for the destruction of all categories of chemical weapons by the possessor States Parties and reiterate the importance of the total elimination of all types of weapons of mass destruction, in line with the first preambular paragraph of the Convention.
3.5 The NAM CWC States Parties and China reiterate that the obligation and responsibility regarding the destruction of chemical weapons lie solely with the possessor States Parties, and that fulfilment of this obligation is essential to the achievement of the object and purpose of the Convention.
In 2013, in a statement at the Third Special Session of the Conference of States Parties to Review the Operation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (Third Review Conference) on behalf of the Member States of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) that are States Parties to the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), including Fiji, and China, the representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran stated:
The existence of weapons of mass destruction continues to pose a threat to international peace and security. The NAM CWC States Parties and China therefore call for the general and complete disarmament under [a] strict and effective verification regime, including the prohibition and elimination of all weapons of mass destruction in line with the first preambular paragraph of the Convention.
The NAM CWC States Parties and China call for the total destruction of all categories of chemical weapons by the possessor States Parties …
It is important that the Third Review Conference call upon the major possessor States to take every necessary measure to ensure the completion of destruction of their chemical weapons stockpiles in the shortest time possible.
We further call upon all the other States Parties that possess old chemical weapons to also complete their destruction of these chemical weapons in the shortest time possible.
… [T]he NAM CWC States Parties and China are fully committed to their obligations under the Convention. We look forward to the elimination of an entire category of weapons of mass destruction in the shortest time possible.
The representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran further stated:
The NAM CWC States Parties and China express their deep concern that chemical weapons may have been used in the Syrian Arab Republic. We underline that the use of chemical weapons by anyone under any circumstances would be reprehensible and completely contrary to the legal norms and standards of the international community.
In 2013, in a statement during the Third Special Session of the Conference of States Parties to Review the Operation of the Chemical Weapons Convention, the ambassador and permanent representative of Fiji stated:
We … would like to express our gratitude for the Director-General Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü’s exceptional leadership and outstanding stewardship of the OPCW [Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons], and its Technical Secretariat, in our pursuit for a world free of chemical weapon[s].
Fiji aligns itself with the statement delivered by the Deputy Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran on behalf of the States Parties of the Non-Aligned Movement and China.
Fiji … is fully committed to the implementation of the Convention. … Our joint undertakings have taken us to a point where 80% of the world’s declared chemical weapons stockpiles have been destroyed.
Fiji welcomes the declaration made by the two largest possessor States in their obligation to destroy their entire stockpile of chemical weapons. We encourage them and all other possessors to fulfil this crucial obligation as soon as feasible. We also encourage the remaining eight sovereign States still to ratify the Convention to do so, for the promotion of peace, in all regions around the world.
… Though we are faced with limited resources and competing legislative demands, Fiji will continue to strive for effective implementation of the Convention within these challenges, as it fully subscribes to the aspirations of the Convention.
Whilst Fiji enacted its chemical weapons Act in 2005, we feel that our legislation still needs enhancement to fully capture the essence of fulfilling the aspirations of the Convention. In that regard, Fiji considers reviewing its Act to ensure that all pertinent issues are adequately covered – inclusive of key agencies empowered for its regulatory role in controlling movement of chemicals at the border and within our national boundaries. …
Fiji reiterates its full support and is truly indebted to the Secretariat for the OPCW for its commitment towards fulfilling the aspirations and obligations of the Convention let alone its prime objective to eradicate stockpiles of chemical weapons and ensuring a world free of chemical weapons in the future.