Government commits to chemical weapons deal

Kampala. Uganda has echoed its commitment to prohibiting the use and production of chemical weapons as enshrined in the ideals of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), an intergovernmental body based in The Hague, Netherlands.

A Ugandan delegation led by the permanent secretary ministry of Gender, Mr Pius Bigirimana, on Monday made a presentation at the 20th Session of the Conference of the States Parties (CSP-20) in The Hague, pledging Uganda’s support to “bring about a world completely free of chemical weapons.”

“Uganda would like to see the full implementation of Article XI through substantial assistance to non-possessor states in order to enable them to develop chemical capacity and industry,” Mr Bigirimana said in a statement.

“This will facilitate developing countries to view the Convention as a relevant tool and as a catalyst for economic development through the unlimited use of chemicals for peaceful purposes not prohibited in the Convention.”

Uganda does not possess, produce or have stockpiles of chemical weapons. However, Mr Bigirimana said the support from the technical secretariat in the implementation of the programme for Africa has continued to infuse the necessary skills within the implementation of the convention which will assist Uganda in its economic growth.

Last month, Parliament passed The Toxic Chemicals Prohibition and Control Bill, 2015. The Act is the national legislation measure to domesticate the implementation of the convention under Article VII of the CWC.
The Bill now awaits President’s assent to be enacted into law.

The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), to which Uganda is a signatory, is an arms control treaty which outlaws the production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons and their precursors with the aim of strengthening international security.