Statement by H.E. Mr. Dian Triansyah Djani, Ambassador/Permanent Representative of Indonesia, at the General Debate of the 7th Biological Weapons Convention Review Conference
At the outset, I would like to join others in congratulating you on your assumption as the President of the 7th Biological Weapons Convention Review Conference. I am confident that under your able guidance, we will be able to arrive at successful deliberations, and I can assure you my delegation’s full support and cooperation in discharging your duties.
I would also wish to thank the Implementation Support Unit (ISU) for its essential role in assisting States Parties in their efforts to implement the Convention and for excellent preparation of this meeting.
My delegation would like to associate itself with the statement delivered by the Ambassador of Cuba on behalf of the Group of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and Other States Parties to the Biological Weapons Convention.
Indonesia reaffirms its steadfast commitment to this Convention which is considered to be one of the most important international conventions on disarmament and non-proliferation. It is our strong belief that all States Parties to the Convention should work together in achieving general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.
In line with the spirit of the Convention, Indonesia reiterates its belief that the existence of biological and toxin weapons as well as its potential proliferation and misused constitute a growing threat to international peace and security.
Therefore, we pledge our commitment to efforts leading to prevention of proliferation and finally, elimination of bacteriological (biological) agents and toxins being used as weapons through the universal adherence to and full implementation of the Convention and promoting the peaceful use of biological agents or toxin for the benefit of all mankind.
The Government of Indonesia continues to work on its implementation, including disseminating information on the significance of the Convention and its implementation to all our national stakeholders. It is our belief that the full implementation of the Convention can only be attained when all relevant stakeholders, including the civil society, understand the noble purpose of the Convention.
We believe that thirty-six years after its entry into force, as the first multilateral disarmament treaty banning an entire category of weapons, the Biological Weapons Convention remains relevance as one of the key pillars in efforts to address the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
The review conference conducted once in every 5 (five) years as mandated by the Convention, provides a platform for states parties to review the operation of the Convention in light of the development of science and technology throughout the time. It presents the opportunity to address its shortcomings as well as to make significant progress in one of the major multilateral disarmament and non-proliferation treaties through the comprehensive review of the implementation of the preamble and all articles of the Convention and the consideration of the intersessional process.
In order to achieve our common endeavour as set forth by the Convention, we underscore the paramount importance of international cooperation, assistance and partnership. We perceive the merit in establishing a framework for cooperation in order to narrow the gap among states parties pertaining their resources, development and national capacity.
Such framework may consist of an integrated approach to cooperation through, inter alia, the establishment of an offer/request for assistance mechanism, a venue to sustainably and transparently discuss cooperation to enhance common understanding and avoid suspicions, as well as a database to keep track the ongoing and past cooperation to provide a lesson learned and best practices for states parties.
It is our belief that the successful implementation of the cooperation provision will provide incentives for States to accede to the Convention.
We also believe in the need for a compliance and verification mechanism, which constitutes a challenge to the Convention, to ensure and verify states parties’ adherence to the Convention. We understand the difficulty in arriving at an agreement to establish the mechanism. Therefore we are of the view that continuous discussions on the topic in the intersessional process are pertinent in order to forge common understanding.
However, such mechanism should not be confused with Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) which serves as a tool to provide transparency and build trust among states parties in the implementation of the Convention. We share the view on the need to increase states’ participation in CBMs submission and to review the CBMs form in order to provide clarity and useful information needed to enhance transparency and eliminate suspicions.
As an archipelagic country which is prone to emerging and reemerging infectious diseases mainly caused by varied environmental, ecological and demographic factors spread through people’s movement, Indonesia reiterates the need for strengthening not only national but also regional and international capacity to respond to the alleged used of biological weapons and in disease surveillance, detection, diagnosis and preparedness as well as public health systems, including science and technology transfer.
We hope the review conference will provide an opportunity for states parties to explore proper arrangements for cooperation in these areas.
Let me conclude by reaffirming that we stand ready to participate constructively in the deliberations to review issues pertaining to the operation and implementation of the Convention aiming at strengthening the regime.
Geneva, 5 December 2011