"OTHER WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION" AT THE FIRST COMMITTEE OF THE 64. SESSION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY

-- 16.10.2009
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. At the outset, I would like to express our pleasure to see Ambassador Pfirter, Director-General of OPCW, present in the First Committee's deliberations. We thank him for his overview about the activities of the OPCW.

We have shared Turkey's views on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation at the thematic debate on "Nuclear Weapons" earlier this week. Proliferation of other weapons of mass destruction (WMD), such as chemical and biological weapons, as well as their means of delivery, is also a cause for concern for our country. Turkey does not possess any such weapons and our security policy excludes the production and use of all kinds of WMD.

The Chemical Weapons Convention and the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention are two important components of the global system against proliferation of WMD. Taking this opportunity, we would like once again to call for a wider adherence to and an effective implementation of these Conventions.

It's important to move the BTCW process forward by developing common understanding and approaches with a view to strengthening the BTC regime.

Moving to the chemical weapons, Turkey considers CWC as a successful and unique multilateral device addressing both the disarmament and the peaceful chemical activities.

Located in a region of particular concern with respect to proliferation of WMD, Turkey supports the efforts to promote the universality of these instruments. Turkey actively supports the work of the OPCW and will continue to do so. In this vein, we hosted a two inter-regional activities, in cooperation with the Technical Secretariat of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, in Istanbul in 2009, mainly on the "Universality of the CBC in the Mediterranean Basin and the Middle East Region" and on "Chemical Industry-Related Issues in the Mediterranean Basin".

Mr. Chairman,

Proliferation of the means of delivery of weapons of mass destruction is another pressing issue that needs to be effectively addressed by the international community. Indeed, Turkey is concerned with the progressive increase in the range and accuracy of ballistic missiles. Within this framework, we consider the Hague Code of Conduct against ballistic missile proliferation as as a practical step towards an internationally accepted legal framework in this field and wish to see a broader adherence to this endeavour.

Proliferation of WMD and their means of delivery become all the more worrying in the context of terrorism. Hence, we fully support international efforts to prevent the acquisition and use by terrorists of such weapons. Turkey, as an elected member of the Security Council for the term 2009-2010, continues to actively support the work of the Committee established pursuant to Security Council resolution 1540, which complements the international efforts against the proliferation of WMD. We call for a more stringent implementation of this resolution and support the comprehensive review process to this end.

Likewise, we regard the Proliferation Security Initiative as an important scheme complementing the existing international mechanisms.

Mr. Chairman,

I would like to conclude by reiterating our support to the long-standing idea of the creation of an effectively verifiable zone free of WMD in the Middle East. It is our strong belief that possession of WMD in this age cannot provide any additional security to any country or region in this era. On the contrary, the possession of and the pursuit for such weapons undermines regional security and stability. Turkey therefore encourages all efforts for having a common regional understanding on this project with the participation of all the parties concerned.