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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
08THEHAGUE826
2008-10-02 09:17:00
SECRET
Embassy The Hague
Cable title:  

CWC: WRAP-UP FOR SEPTEMBER 22-26, 2008

Tags:   PARM  PREL  CWC 
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VZCZCXYZ0001
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTC #0826/01 2760917
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O 020917Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2035
INFO RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHMFISS/DTRA ALEX WASHINGTON DC//OSAC PRIORITY
						S E C R E T THE HAGUE 000826 

SIPDIS

STATE FOR ISN/CB, VCI/CCA, L/NPV, IO/MPR,
SECDEF FOR OSD/GSA/CN,CP>
JOINT STAFF FOR DD PMA-A FOR WTC
COMMERCE FOR BIS (ROBERTS AND DENYER)
NSC FOR FLY
WINPAC FOR WALTER

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/01/2018
TAGS: PARM PREL CWC
SUBJECT: CWC: WRAP-UP FOR SEPTEMBER 22-26, 2008

REF: A. THE HAGUE 799

B. THE HAGUE 776

C. THE HAGUE 777

Classified By: Ambassador Eric M. Javits for reasons 1.4 (B) and (D)

This is CWC-043-08

-------
SUMMARY
-------



1. (SBU) Informal consultations continued on the
budget September 25, as well as a final consultation
on the External Auditor's Report on September 22.
The Western European and Others Group (WEOG) compared
notes on the various facilitations and the upcoming
Executive Council (EC), with concern increasing over
Iran's plans for Articles X and XI as well as its
efforts to revise the EC agenda. The U.S. Delegation
hosted Pacific Rim colleagues to lunch to share
views. The Asian Group has not yet begun seeking a
chairman for the Conference of States Parties (CSP),
but Japan and China plan to do so, with the Chinese
Ambassador a possible candidate.



2. (S) On Lebanon's accession to the Chemical Weapons
Convention, Delreps spoke with OPCW Legal Advisor
Onate, who described the pressures facing new
President Sleiman from neighboring countries that
Lebanon not accede as planned.



--------------------------


WEOG


--------------------------





3. (SBU) At its weekly meeting on September 22, the
Western European and Others Group (WEOG) discussed
the budget consultations, the upcoming Executive
Council, and the recent meetings on Articles X and
XI. Budget Facilitator Martin Strub (Switzerland)
noted that the major issues will be the number of
Other Chemical Production Facility (OCPF) inspections
and Iran's insistence on rejecting references to non-
proliferation in the budget as part of the CWC's
mandate. WEOG Coordinator Ruth Surkau (Germany)
noted that the Conference of States Parties at its
10th session decided to include non-proliferation as
a goal for the budget.



4. (SBU) Surkau reported for Ambassador Burkart
(Germany) on the recent EC Bureau meeting. The
Iranian delegate (the new ambassador has not arrived
yet in The Hague) requested deletion of the agenda
item on OCPF declarations, but the EC Chairperson,
the Director-General and Burkhart all opposed the
request. The Iranian remained obstinate, stating
that he would seek instructions from Tehran. The
Iranian delegation has since filed a complaint with
the Director-General (DG). Surkau observed that Iran
is clearly not representing the Asian Group in the
Bureau, and that the agenda issue will doubtless be
brought before the EC. Amb. Javits raised the
question of the Asian Group's chairing the annual CSP
following Africa last year. No one had heard
anything yet about candidates for the CSP chair but
WEOG delegations agreed to ask Asian colleagues.
(Del note: In a courtesy call later in the week with
the new Pakistani Ambassador, Arif Ayub, who is
coordinator for the Asian Group, Amb. Javits inquired

as to whether he would be interested in a "leadership
position" in the OPCW, explaining that the next chair
of the CSP would be Asia. He did not express
interest for himself.)



5. (SBU) On Article XI, WEOG delegations expressed
concern about the Iranian insistence on a review of
old documents and reference to "dual track"
facilitations (Ref A). The UK delegate noted that
Qfacilitations (Ref A). The UK delegate noted that
the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) may be cooling on the
idea for a working group and workshop, given western
support. Amb. Javits advised that the discussions
will probably go slowly but that we should let the
discussion unfold until there is something we can
support. Surkau noted that this EC was tasked to
report to the CSP on concrete measures, so that "time
is running."



6. (SBU) WEOG delegations held similar views to the
Del's on the Article X consultation and the
coordination between OPCW and the UN Office of the
Coordinator for Humanitarian Assistance (UNOCHA)
(Ref A), including fear of duplication of efforts and
deficiencies in OPCW planning. Delrep noted the
repeated Iranian references to "after care" for
victims and implications for assistance to current
victims of previous chemical attacks in their recent
statements. The UK delegate expressed disappointment
with the presentation by the Technical Secretariat
(TS) of its activities, and said London is
considering proposing a feasibility study and an
analysis of planning gaps. Iran, she said, is likely
to try to insert report language at the last minute
at the CSP, no matter what direction the facilitation
takes.



--------------------------


EXTERNAL AUDITOR'S REPORT


--------------------------





7. (U) On September 22, Takayuki Kitagawa (Japan)
facilitated a second consultation on the External
Auditor's Report. The consultation also included
discussion on the recently-released Report on the
Status of Implementation of the Recommendations of
the External Auditor. The meeting began with a
presentation by the TS responding to questions raised
by delegations during the previous consultation (Ref
B), with the TS answering most questions to
delegations' satisfaction. While South Africa, Cuba,
and Iran made brief editorial comments on the
report's language, no one raised any substantive
objections. At the end of the unusually short
consultation, the facilitator banged his gavel and
announced that both reports would be noted at the
upcoming EC.



--------------------------


PACIFIC LUNCH


--------------------------





8. (SBU) The U.S. Del hosted colleagues from the
Pacific Rim to lunch as part of a series of
occasional meetings to share views. Delegates from
Japan, South Korea, China, Australia, New Zealand and
Canada attended. Discussion was wide-ranging,
including the upcoming conferences in Florence
(industry issues) and Vilnius (sea dumped CW), the
upcoming EC and ongoing consultations. Delrep asked
whether the Asian Group had discussed chairing the
CSP; they had not. However, the Chinese Deputy Perm
Rep thought his new ambassador might be interested in
the chair. Other delegates noted that the new
Pakistani ambassador has broad background in
multilateral affairs and would likely take an active
interest in finding a suitable chairman for the CSP,
if not volunteering himself. The Indian ambassador
was cited as another potential candidate, but no one
knew whether or when she would be leaving, and her
expert OPCW delegate will be departing post soon.
The Japanese delegate later told Delrep that he was
reporting back to Tokyo seeking his government's
Qreporting back to Tokyo seeking his government's
views on the chairmanship.



9. (SBU) On Article XI, the Chinese facilitator was
not sure whether the Cuban delegate would lead the
working group to plan a brainstorming workshop (Ref
A). He did not have more details on Iranian plans
for a "dual track" approach. For industry issues,
the delegations not invited to Florence were
interested in what outcome was expected, but felt
that any new ideas to jump-start the process could be
helpful. The Chinese delegates reiterated their
position on holding the numbers of OCPF inspections
level until further consideration of the site
selection issues takes place; several delegates
argued that the numbers need to increase in any case,
and should not have to wait for political
deliberations to conclude.



--------------------------


BUDGET: PMO, ERD, OIO, Legal Advisor,
Confidentiality, Health and Safety


--------------------------





10. (U) Martin Strub (Switzerland) chaired the budget
consultation on September 25. Due to the absence of
the Deputy Director-General (DDG), the agenda was re-
ordered slightly, moving the discussion of the
offices of the DG, DDG and Special Projects to
September 29. Alexander Khodakov (Secretary to the
Policy-Making Organs, PMO) stated that his budet was
the same as last year's except for two posts that are
proposed to convert to fixed term positions and
reductions from the Review Conference expenditures
this year. Delrep supported the regularization of
the two posts, as well as U.S. support for additional
funding in the regular budget for the Scientific
Advisory Board and its technical working groups. She
asked about greater specificity in the performance
indicators, particularly for the delivery of
documents on time, a longstanding issue among
delegations. The discussion that followed focused on
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), with the South
African and Netherlands delegations noting the
system-wide problem for late delivery of documents
and the need for an indicator that will measure PMO's
performance without an element of blame for documents
that they do not receive on time.



11. (U) Malik Ellahi (Head, Government Relations)
presented the budget for the External Relations
Division (ERD), noting greater bilateral activity and
fewer workshops on universality as the number of
States not Party decreases. The Iranian delegate
questioned the "enhanced cooperation" with the UN and
other international organizations, and objected to
the term "partnership" particularly in reference to
"non-proliferation." Ellahi patiently explained that
the OPCW has an agreement with the UN, and works with
regional organizations such as the Arab League, the
African Union and others. While there are not always
terms of reference for the relationships, he said,
these interactions come out of decisions made by the
member states on universality and other matters.
India, after being welcomed back to the consultation
after an extended absence, raised questions about the
plans for expanded media coverage, particularly on
destruction, a "sensitive" issue to possessor states.



12. (U) For the offices of Health and Safety and
Internal Oversight (OIO), the Technical Secretariat
noted the increases in training costs as one-time
adjustments, primarily for staff to keep abreast with
their fields. While there were no questions on
health or safety, several delegations (China,
Qhealth or safety, several delegations (China,
Netherlands, South Africa) asked OIO why there had
never been an external assessment of an OIO report.
The Dutch delegate later told Delrep that her
government will insist that an external audit be
added to this budget, to meet international
standards. For the Office of Confidentiality and
Security, Joseph Hogan (Head, Physical security)
stated there were no major new spending initiatives.
The South African delegate asked about the drop in
contract security costs. Hogan replied that it was
due to the Second Review Conference costs dropping

out, and that they had found a more efficient way to
provide contract services.



13. (U) Santiago Onate, the Legal Advisor, gave a
comprehensive overview of his office's work and
budget, noting no changes to staffing. The only
budgetary increase (under contractual services) is
for publication of a revised book of OPCW legal
texts. To a South African question on the increasing
complexity of legal work cited in the draft budget,
Onate replied that many states have completed their
basic legislation but now require assistance with
administrative regulations (for declarations,
domestic inspections, licensing) that need more
detailed and specific review of individual legal
systems. On KPIs, Onate acknowledged the difficulty
of measuring performance of legal assistance but said
that 100% response to however many requests they
receive is the only way they could find to measure
their work. To the German delegate's question on how
many requests are typical in a year, Onate said their
range for the last three years was 19-27 requests
annually for technical assistance visits and 29-40
requests annually for comments on drafts received.
He believes his staffing is adequate for those
numbers, but noted that two of his seven professional
staff positions currently are vacant.



--------------------------


LEBANON ACCESSION TO CWC


--------------------------





14. (S) In private conversations September 26,
Delreps asked Legal Advisor Onate about Lebanese
accession to the Convention and the reports of
pressure, including an Arab League letter to the
Lebanese government urging it not to accede. Onate
said that President Sleiman, when he was head of the
Army, had been a major proponent of joining the CWC
to protect his troops. Now that he is President, he
appears to be taking a "broader view" under competing
pressures, including the opposition of Egypt and
Syria to Lebanon's accession. Onate has not seen the
Arab League letter but was informed of it by an
officer named Johnny Ibrahim from the Lebanese
Foreign Ministry who used to work in The Hague, is
now back in Beirut, and coordinated the recent TS
visit there.



15. (S) Onate said that in conversation with PM
Siniora during that visit, Siniora mentioned that he
had had contact with "other Arab states" on the topic
of CWC accession, at which point someone else in the
meeting cut him off in Arabic. Onate said he made
the point with Siniora that the reading of some
states of an Arab League decision was incorrect, and
that it referred to the NPT and not the CWC. He also
noted that there are members of the Arab League who
are very active in the OPCW.



16. (S) Onate also recalled an incident at the Rome
Workshop on Universality, at which an Arab League
representative spoke out against the CWC. Ambassador
Dani of Algeria vehemently responded in defense of
the Organization, noting that the Arab League works
on consensus and the statement made clearly did not
represent the views of its membership, many of whom
are members of the OPCW. Onate told Delrep he
recently contacted Dani to discuss the Arab League
letter, and Dani said that while he respected
Qletter, and Dani said that while he respected
Ibrahim, he found this news surprising, as such a
letter from the Arab League Secretary General would
be "suicide" if it got out.



17. (U) Javits sends.
Culbertson