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The world is polarised again: India rejects anti-chemical weapons draft at OPCW

By Shubham

The polarisation in the global order became evident once again on Wednesday, June 27, when India voted against a draft decision on addressing the menace of chemical weapons use at a special conference of the OPCW - Organisation for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons - at the Hague, saying the consultations were "incomplete".

With this stance, India joined countries like Russia, China and South Africa who also voted against the decision backed by western countries like the UK and US to authorise the OPCW to identify the culprits of chemical weapons attack.

The world is polarised again: India rejects anti-chemical weapons draft at OPCW

According to India, the West-backed decision flouted the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1997 and gives unchecked authority to the OPCW's director general. Spain's Fernando Arias will take over the reins of the director general on July 25, succeeding Turkey's Ahmet Uzumcu.

India reiterated India's stand on the use of chemical weapons at the OPCW conference, saying it was against the use of the fatal agents in any situation and wanted those who used them to be held accountable.

"We have studied this draft very carefully and have consulted widely including with the drafters and the main co-sponsors of the draft decision. However, we believe that on an issue of such grave importance, the consultations conducted by the sponsors remain incomplete. It has been India's view that the draft decision of such far-reaching importance and implications should be the end result of a comprehensive and extensive consultation," India's Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the OPCW Venu Rajamony said while explaining India's vote on the draft decision on 'Addressing the Threat from Chemical Weapons Use', PTI reported.

The conference was convened by the western powers to discuss ways on upholding the global ban on the use of chemical weapons. London has reportedly sought empowerment of the OPCW to identify the organisation or government responsible for carrying out chemical attacks besides having the regular power of holding probe into such incidents.

The West had a serious face-off with Russia over the latter's alleged nerve agent poisoning of one of its former spies - Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia at Salisbury in the UK.

India voted against the proposal at the OPCW along with 23 other countries while 82 member-states backed it. The US and European Union lent it support.

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