With Pakistan’s re-election into the executive council of the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), efforts to encourage disarmament will continue. We have been at the forefront of this cause and with the recent accusations against Turkey and Russia surfacing and plying pressure onto the OPCW, we must play our part in the conference to discourage the use of chemical weaponry in the modern age.

Signed between 193 countries, the OPCW was the world’s first multilateral disarmament treaty that successfully persuaded countless countries to abandon their chemical and nuclear weapon projects. Being a part of the executive council for the next two years, Pakistan will be able to shape policies and conditions that encourage disarmament across the world.

This is a testament to the responsibility with which we have handled the task of adhering to an international commitment of this magnitude. We have organised conferences, been a part of various global courses that emphasise planning, generating responses and countermeasures to events involving the use of chemical agents and toxic industrial chemicals on the local population. Nationally, we have always highlighted the importance of negotiations and deliberations, especially when concerning the proliferation of weapons, to ensure that peace and security can be maintained.

Considering how diversified threats have been putting pressure onto the OPCW, Pakistan has the opportunity to play a key role in ensuring global security. Currently, the Kurdish forces are accusing Turkey of carrying out more than 300 attacks using chemical weapons against them all the while Syria has failed to comply with the conditions of the OPCW. Even Russia was put under fire for allegedly using chemical weapons in 2020 on its own people. As an integral part of the conference, Pakistan now must remain vigilant against such threats and should help create a framework that inspires adherence and compliance to the efforts towards curtailing chemical threats.