Cablegate: Chemical Weapons Convention (Cwc) - Approval Of

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.




E.O. 12958: N/A

This is CWC-123-04.

1. (U) The Executive Council of the Organization for the
Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), at its October 12-15
session, unanimously adopted a recommendation to all States
Parties to approve a change to the Chemical Weapons
Convention. This change allows Libya to request approval for
the conversion of its former chemical weapons production
facility at Rabta for purposes not prohibited under the
Convention. Specifically, it allows Libya to produce
pharmaceuticals to treat AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis on
the African continent. Close and effective cooperation
between the U.S., UK, Libyan, Italian and Tunisian
delegations resulted in a handful of holdouts, most notably
Russia, being brought onboard late in the session. Extensive
discussions were also held with India and Pakistan to resolve
lingering concerns about the format and scope of the draft
recommendation containing the proposal.

2. (U) As required under subparagraph 5(c) of Article XV,
all States Parties will now be notified of the Council's
recommendation, with appropriate explanations, for
consideration. This action will be taken by the Council
Chairman on or about October 18th and will trigger a 90-day
period during which any State Party may object to the
proposal. Barring such objection, the proposal is considered
approved at the end of the 90-day period. If a State Party
does object, the matter is to be taken up for decision as a
matter of substance by the Conference of States Parties at
its next session.

3. (U) The consensus decision of the Council gives reason
for optimism that no State Party will break silence, although
the delegation will continue to closely monitor the
situation. In that regard, we would note that after the
Council adopted the draft recommendation, the German
delegation, reading from text provided by Berlin, made a
statement that concluded with the unhelpful observation that
Germany may be obliged to object to the recommendation,
purely as a procedural matter. In particular, the FRG
statement noted the possibility that, owing to Christmas
holidays and the time available to them, the Bundestag may
not be able to consider the recommendation during the 90-day
period. In such a case, Germany could not rule out the
possibility of having to raise an objection simply to give
itself the time and opportunity it needs to meet its internal
bureaucratic requirements. The statement also noted the FRG
would do everything in its power to avoid such an
eventuality. It may be advisable for Embassy Berlin to
monitor this situation closely during the coming weeks.

4. (U) Finally, this seems an opportune occasion to express
my appreciation for the outstanding work done by AC/CB over
the past few months and during the recent Council session, as
well as the critical assistance that has been provided by all
of the posts receiving this message. The Rabta technical
change generated a significant level of energy and engagement
within the OPCW. Opening statements were made by 26
delegations, all of which addressed the Rabta issue. Once
the technical change was adopted, the Libyan and numerous
African delegations went out of their way to extend to me
statements of appreciation. And I wish to extend my own
thanks to all those who contributed to this successful

5. (U) Javits sends.

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