Accra, Sept. 20, GNA - Ghana has not been able to take full advantage of the opportunities of being a State Party to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), an official of the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI) has disclosed.
Whereas some state parties to the CWC have been able to develop ample protection capabilities and continue to improve their systems and structures to respond to chemical attacks and threats, Ghana is slow to mobilising financial and technical means to initiate an elaborate national protection programme, Mr Alexander Kwaning said.
Mr Kwaning disclosed this at the opening of a two-day national workshop on Assistance and Protection against Chemical Weapons in Accra on Wednesday.
The workshop, being facilitated by the MESTI, in collaboration with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), is to enable the OPCW assist Ghana review her draft implementing legislation on the CWC.
The event draws together experts and officials from stakeholder organisations to share knowledge and brainstorm on the CWC and Ghana’s draft legislation for the sustainable implementation of a chemical weapons protection plan.
The OPCW, through its Africa Programme that focuses on activities and interventions to respond to particular needs of African member states, enables them to develop a national protection programme against chemical weapons.
Noting current global trends relating to chemical weapons control and management, Mr Kwaning said it was utmost that governments committed state resources to remediate the issue.
He said recent happenings within the sub-region necessitated concerted efforts by the international community to “forcefully” press the message that chemical weapons would make the world unsafe.
Mr Kwaning said it was time that Ghana charted a path to the sustainable implementation of the Convention, adding that it was gratifying that the workshop would culminate in the final rounds of reviews of Ghana’s draft legislation that would hopefully lead to its passage into law.
The Convention aims to eliminate an entire category of weapons of mass destruction by prohibiting the development, production, acquisition, stockpiling, retention, transfer or use of chemical weapons by state parties.
States parties, in turn, must take the steps necessary to enforce the prohibition in respect of persons (natural or legal) within their jurisdiction.
All state parties have agreed to chemically disarm by destroying any stockpiles of chemical weapons they may hold and any facilities which produced them, as well as any chemical weapons they abandoned on the territory of other state parties in the past.
State parties have also agreed to create a verification regime for certain toxic chemicals and their precursors in order to ensure that such chemicals are only used for purposes not prohibited.
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