CWC: PRESENTATIONS BY DG CANDIDATES, JULY 15, 2009 (EC-57)

ID
09THEHAGUE451
SUBJECT
CWC: PRESENTATIONS BY DG CANDIDATES, JULY 15,
DATE
2009-07-24 15:03:00
CLASSIFICATION
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
ORIGIN
Embassy The Hague
TEXT
UNCLAS THE HAGUE 000451 

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

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

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PARM PREL AU FI GM ID TU UK AG
SUBJECT: CWC: PRESENTATIONS BY DG CANDIDATES, JULY 15,
2009 (EC-57)

REF: A. THE HAGUE 352
¶B. THE HAGUE 371
¶C. HAGUE 411
¶D. THE HAGUE 437

(U) This is CWC-44-09

——- SUMMARY ——-

¶1. (SBU) The seven candidates to succeed Rogelio Pfirter (Argentina) as the next Director-General (DG) of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) each presented themselves to the Executive Council (EC) on July 15. During the day-long closed session presided over by EC Chairperson Ambassador Jorge Lomonaco (Mexico), each candidate had ten minutes to make their presentation followed by a question and answer period in which one delegation from each of the five regional groups posed a question. The order of candidates was chosen randomly the day before. Lomonaco limited questions to two minutes and answers to three minutes. Surprisingly for the OPCW, everyone strictly observed time limits. The procedural success of the day was a coup for Lomonaco’s leadership and handling of the DG selection process, and provided a good opportunity for all EC delegations to compare the candidates.

¶2. (SBU) Curricula vitae and nomination letters for all seven candidates have been sent to ISN/CB and are available publicly as official OPCW documents. Written copies of each candidate’s presentation have also been sent back to ISN/CB. The following report offers the highlights of each presentation, the questions posed and the candidate’s answers.

—————– JOHN FREEMAN (UK) —————–

¶3. (SBU) John Freeman, OPCW’s Deputy Director- General, is well-known to permanent delegations in The Hague. The theme of Freeman’s presentation was that the future of the OPCW is anchored in the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). Not surprisingly, he described his vision for the Organization as one of continuity, stating that the OPCW needs stability, steadiness of purpose, and evolution, not revolution. Freeman stated that the core challenge faced by the Organization is ensuring implementation of the CWC, with the destruction of chemical weapons (CW) stockpiles being of paramount importance. He also highlighted the importance of nonproliferation — calling for balanced implementation of the verification regime — and universality — recognizing that the few remaining non-member states are unique, requiring different approaches. Freeman said that Article VII (national implementation) needs to be tied to assistance and cooperation, described Article X (assistance and protection) as growing in importance and requiring more effort and resources, and stated that Article XI (international cooperation and assistance) is not an optional extra but rather a treaty commitment. Referring to
Article XI, Freeman said that the next DG needs to uphold the CWC’s non-discriminatory aspect. On management, he said that effectiveness is the core objective, and he cited the Organization’s increasingly efficient use of limited/lessening resources. Freeman highlighted staffing and stressed the need to recruit excellent staff that reflect the diversity of the OPCW’s membership, both in gender and nationality.

¶4. (SBU) Q&A: South Africa asked how, after 2012, Freeman would use resources previously devoted to destruction activities. Freeman said that, assuming a steady level of resources, he would respond to member states’ wishes, ranging from enhancement of non-proliferation to increasing international cooperation and assistance. Raising Article XI, Pakistan asked how scientific and technological developments could enhance the free exchange of technology and what Freeman would do to support the removal of restrictions to such exchange. Freeman said he is alert to the rights of all member states and to the non-discriminatory nature of the CWC. He said that the OPCW should provide assistance programs that support member states’ needs and desires; Freeman also committed to advocating for the adjustment of regimes that are injurious to the object and purpose of the CWC. Estonia asked what the next DG can do about the growing politicization of the Organization, which does not contribute to its efficiency. Freeman said there is a balance between politics and technical matters, saying that the TS should be an apolitical, technical body to support member states and the policy-making organs. Brazil asked Freeman what specific initiatives he would propose to encourage greater representation of TS staff from developing countries. Freeman noted that, in the early days of the Organization, the TS used to send out teams to engage member states and encourage them to put forward applicants for TS jobs; he suggested re-instituting the practice, in addition to raising the issue during all bilateral and regional visits by the DG and senior management. Australia asked Freeman for his thoughts on industry verification and what role he would play, given the divergent views on the issue. Freeman said that the DG needs to advocate his position clearly but could only go so far and cannot solve everything.

——————– AAPO POLHO (FINLAND) ——————–

¶5. (SBU) Aapo Polho is currently Finland’s Ambassador to NATO and Belgium. Polho praised DG Pfirter, saying the OPCW is in very good shape. He listed the Organization’s priorities as destruction of all existing CW, prevention of the emergence of new CW, responding to requests for international cooperation and assistance, and keeping management Qcooperation and assistance, and keeping management efficient and fiscally responsible. Polho stated that failure to meet the 2012 deadline for CW destruction could lead to a credibility crisis, but he suggested that such a crisis could be averted if possessors not meeting the deadline demonstrate their unwavering commitment to the CWC and complete CW destruction. He stressed the importance of universality and full implementation of the CWC in preventing non-member states and non-state actors from using chemical weapons. Polho said that developing countries without CW or any chemical industry have the right to assistance against the threat of use of CW, as well as access to protection technology. On management and budget, he stated zero nominal growth (ZNG) budgets will continue to be the rule. Regarding tenure, Polho said that professionalism must be maintained against high turn-over due to the tenure policy and a limited pool of experts from which to draw; staff members need to be valued and have onward possibilities when they leave the TS. More needs to be done to achieve greater gender and geographical balance, he said.

¶6. (SBU) Q&A: Sri Lanka asked Polho what strategy he would use to reach out to the remaining non- member states. Polho responded that some of the remaining seven countries can hopefully be convinced that they do not want their reputations sullied when they have no reason to remain outside of the Convention. As for Egypt, Israel and Syria, Polho said that they each need to come to the realization that chemical weapons do not enhance their security and that CW poses more of a political burden than a military asset. The Czech Republic asked how the OPCW can interact and cooperate with other international organizations. Polho said the OPCW is a combination of an arms control and an assistance organization and has great scope in which to interact with organizations of both strains; he mentioned the special connection between the OPCW and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Peru asked how the verification regime can be improved to recognize new technologies and combat any black market in CW. Polho responded that universality is one tool against clandestine activities; complete national implementation is also necessary. He said that, through the Scientific Advisory Board (SAB), the OPCW needs to keep pace with technological advances, which can pose risks never imagined when the CWC was negotiated. Austria asked if Polho sees the possibility of a credibility crisis if 2012 is not met and what he would do in the run-up to 2012. Polho said that possessors need to convince everyone that if they are unable to meet the deadline, they remain dedicated to their obligations under the CWC and to completely destroying all CW stockpiles. In the run-up to 2012, Polho said that all possessors need to be encouraged to do their utmost, and he said that one possessor’s inability to meet the deadline should not create a domino effect. Cameroon asked about the relationship between the OPCW and counter- Qthe relationship between the OPCW and counter- terrorism organizations. Polho responded that the Organization has certain expertise to offer other organizations and could provide this expertise, along with concrete assistance in case of future CW use.

———————— PETER GOTTWALD (GERMANY) ————————

¶7. (SBU) Peter Gottwald is the Federal Commissioner of Government for Arms Control and Disarmament in Germany. Gottwald stated that the OPCW’s core tasks are laid out clearly in the CWC, and he praised the solution-oriented approach of DG Pfirter and the Organization’s strong consensus spirit. He said that the OPCW needs to be attractive to all members, including those without CW or chemical industry. Turning to destruction, Gottwald asserted that the CWC clearly has no provision for an extension beyond the 2012 deadline. He supported the verification regime, saying the TS must inspect and monitor all relevant industry facilities while working in partnership with chemical industry. Gottwald noted that the CWC is not just an arms control and disarmament treaty, stressing that the assistance provisions of the Convention need to be implemented. On countering terrorism, he said that the OPCW must cooperate closely with member states and other international organizations. Gottwald stated that the OPCW needs to be a service-oriented organization and can only do so if its staff is motivated to meet objectives efficiently and effectively. He said that prudent financial management should remain the maxim, with ZNG budgets continuing as long as possible.

¶8. (SBU) Q&A: Macedonia asked what the role of the OPCW should be with other international organizations and how it could enhance cooperation with them. Gottwald said that the OPCW has a clear sense of purpose as well as a model verification regime, and that there is room for the Organization to develop synergies with the other disarmament and development organizations (e.g., IAEA, CTBTO, UNIDO). Argentina asked what limits there are to Article XI’s full implementation. Gottwald said there is a link between obligations under Articles XI, X and VII and that the challenge is to balance different needs within available resources. France asked what Gottwald would do if some possessors miss 2012. He said it would be necessary to work out a pragmatic, realistic solution that preserves the integrity of the CWC and the OPCW. Sudan asked what, after 2012, Gottwald would do with resources previously used for destruction. While Gottwald noted that resources might go down as destruction finishes, he responded that he would first consult with member states to assess their needs and then provide proposals to meet expectations and reach consensus. Iran asked what Gottwald would do to help address unresolved issues, such as the site selection methodology for other chemical production facilities (OCPFs). Gottwald reiterated the need to consult, both among member states and with industry and other stakeholders, and to reach Qindustry and other stakeholders, and to reach consensus on such issues.

—————————- ANTON THALMANN (SWITZERLAND) —————————-

¶9. (SBU) Anton Thalmann is the Deputy State Secretary and Political Director in SWITZERLAND’s Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. Thalmann was the first candidate to deliver a PowerPoint presentation, complete with an image of a bridge spanning an Alpine chasm. He called destruction a core mandate of the OPCW until completed; even after destruction of existing weapons it will be necessary to maintain disarmament and demilitarization expertise. Thalmann also cited the importance of the complete and global implementation of all provisions of the CWC, including Articles VII, X and XI. He noted the need to address non-proliferation while not being solely focused on it. On Article XI, Thalmann said many member states’ expectations for assistance in promoting peaceful uses of chemistry have not yet fully been met. Turning to the role of the DG, Thalmann said that he would follow DG Pfirter’s approach, specifically maintaining ZNG budgets and preserving TS expertise in all aspects. He then stated that while he would not act as a Swiss representative, he would draw on SWITZERLAND’s long tradition of independence and neutrality and would also strive to build bridges in order to guard the spirit of consensus and dialogue.

¶10. (SBU) Q&A: Uruguay asked how the OPCW can respond to terrorism by non-state actors. Thalmann stressed the need to prevent chemical weapons from falling into the wrong hands, which would require strong cooperation with other organizations and with national police forces. He said that the OPCW needs to develop outreach to deal with terrorism in the future. Italy asked what the TS can do to induce remaining non-member states to join the CWC. Noting that the OPCW cannot replace UN bodies responsible for achieving peace or major powers engaged in resolving regional conflicts, Thalmann said that the TS can induce non-member states by including them in meetings and training exercises aimed at dispelling mistrust. Tunisia (echoing Sudan and South Africa previously) asked how the OPCW can utilize all of its resources after the destruction stage is completed. Thalmann responded the Organization would be faced with either reducing its budget or redistributing funds to other areas; the DG would need to consult with member states to define new priorities. Iran asked Thalmann for his action plan to ensure full implementation of all rights and obligations under Article XI. He responded that he would take an indiscriminate approach to ensure that countries from the “South” get a fair hearing for their justified demands concerning access to free trade in chemicals for peaceful purposes. Poland asked about the OPCW’s role in responding to current and future security threats and challenges. Thalmann said that the OPCW is not an island and has a complementary role to play in the international security system, along with the Security Council, IAEA and others.

————————————– SUDJADNAN PARNOHADININGRAT (INDONESIA) QSUDJADNAN PARNOHADININGRAT (INDONESIA) ————————————–

¶11. (SBU) Sudjadnan Parnohadiningrat is Indonesia’s Ambassador to the United States. Sudjadnan started his presentation by focusing on Indonesia’s role in international fora and stating that Indonesia had decided to pursue the DG position to reaffirm its commitment to disarmament and non-proliferation and to contribute more to the Organization. He went on  to describe Indonesia as the third-largest democracy in the world with the largest Muslim population, and noted that the country recently had completed full national implementation of the CWC. Sudjadnan listed Indonesia’s support for various regional OPCW activities but said that the country wanted to contribute more by offering him to lead the Organization. (Del note: Throughout his presentation and the question and answer period, Sudjadnan referred to himself in the third person. End Note.) Turning to substantive issues, Sudjadnan listed three pillars of the CWC: disarmament, non-proliferation and economic cooperation. He noted that all member states share a collective responsibility to ensure that all members fully implement the Convention. Sudjadnan closed by saying that meeting the 2012 destruction deadline is crucial, calling for strengthening the verification regime and noting the need to promote international cooperation and assistance.

¶12. (SBU) Q&A: The Netherlands asked what sort of DG is needed to deal with the OPCW’s different challenges. Sudjadnan responded that the DG must be a leader and administrator who can prioritize, motivate the TS, and master how technical people work. Libya (like previous African delegations) asked how, after 2012, Sudjadnan would allocate resources previously used for destruction. He responded that the issue is how the 2012 deadline can be met, noting the obligation to fully destroy by the date in the CWC. Sudjadnan added that resources need to be used to ensure destruction is completed while carrying out inspections to ensure non-proliferation. Referring to results-based management, India asked what the right way is to assess the TS’s performance, which areas require improvement, and how they should be handled. Sudjadnan began his rambling response by stating the need to make meticulous calculations of short-, medium- and long-term priorities in order to achieve maximum results with minimum resources. Then, after searching through the draft 2010 budget, he said that key performance indicators can be achieved by calculating how many inspection days could be performed with available resources for inspections. Russia asked what Sudjadnan would do to preserve the verification regime’s effectiveness and professionalism. He noted the need to balance between serving member states, guiding staff to promote a culture of governance, and effective budgetary discipline to ensure minimal use of resources for maximum results. Cuba asked how to achieve full implementation of Article XI. Sudjadnan said that economic cooperation and advancement — “the third pillar of the CWC” — should be an incentive for both member states and Qshould be an incentive for both member states and non-member states alike and that the emphasis should be on cooperating at the global and regional level. He suggested using tripartite arrangements through regional groups and inviting countries with sufficient capacity to promote full implementation of Article XI.

——————— AHMET UZUMCU (TURKEY) ———————

¶13. (SBU) Ahmet Uzumcu is currently Turkey’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva. Uzumcu described disarmament as a core objective of the OPCW but admitted that destruction is costly and time-consuming. He observed that possessors show no sign of wavering in their commitment to complete destruction, and he stressed the importance of consensus and transparency as tools to achieving disarmament. On non- proliferation, Uzumcu praised the wide acceptability and success of the OPCW’s verification regime but affirmed the importance of national implementation for non-proliferation activities to function properly. With the shift in focus from destruction to industrial verification, Uzumcu noted the need for close cooperation and consultation with chemical industry and the SAB. He said that industry can also play a role in supporting peaceful uses of chemistry, and he highlighted assistance protection as important to member states and an incentive to non-member states. While not being a counter-terrorism organization, the OPCW has an important role to play and should cooperate with the UN, specifically the Security Council’s 1540 Committee. Uzumcu noted the OPCW’s relative obscurity and called for using public diplomacy to raise its profile and help create synergies. On management, he stressed the need to ensure the effective and efficient function of the TS in a result-oriented, non- discriminatory, transparent and accountable manner. Uzumcu also supported ZNG budgets to meet the objective of continued efficient use of available resources. On staffing, he noted that the tenure policy has its pros and cons; he also highlighted the importance of training staff, as well as the need to maintain institutional knowledge by keeping core personnel.

¶14. (SBU) Q&A: Morocco asked the African Group question of how to allocate destruction resources after 2012. Responding in fluent French and noting that only 15% of verification resources are currently used for industry, Uzumcu said more resources should be deployed for industry inspections to bolster non-proliferation, while additional resources could also be targeted to Articles X and XI to support training courses and capacity-building. Pakistan asked what the OPCW can do practically to attract the remaining seven non-member states. Uzumcu stated that universality is necessary for full implementation of all components of the CWC, including non-proliferation, and he said that the TS and member states should stress the benefits of CWC — including Articles X and XI — and that chemical weapons no longer have any significant political or military use. Slovakia asked for Uzumcu’s vision for developing QSlovakia asked for Uzumcu’s vision for developing relations between the OPCW and other organizations, industry and civil society. He said that close cooperation and interaction with other organizations is necessary to avoid duplication of efforts and to ensure complementarity, while interaction with chemical industry would help the OPCW keep abreast of technological and scientific developments. Costa Rica asked how he would redress the OPCW’s lack of visibility in Latin America and Africa. Uzumcu responded that greater publicity would benefit the Organization, and he suggested engaging different actors by inviting academic groups, think tanks and industry for dialogue and to disseminate ideas. Spain asked how to develop the OPCW’s contribution to counter- terrorism, specifically in regard to Articles VII, X and XI. Uzumcu said that full implementation of the CWC would be the best contribution, and he noted that the Open-ended Working Group on Terrorism has served as a platform for exchanging ideas and sharing best practices.

———————- BENCHAA DANI (ALGERIA) ———————-

¶15. (SBU) Benchaa Dani is Algeria’s Ambassador to The Netherlands and Permanent Representative to the OPCW. Dani made a brief pitch for why Algeria views the DG position as important, citing the country’s practical commitment to the CWC as evidenced by support for regional workshops and other OPCW activities, as well as Algeria’s active role in The Hague. Dani regularly referred to his experience gained as Algeria’s PermRep, saying that it has prepared him to be the next DG. He particularly referred to his chairmanship of the Committee of the Whole during the Second Review Conference (RevCon) in April 2008 and as a tangible example of his leadership qualities. (Del note: To many delegations who witnessed him in this role, this was not a strong recommendation.) Dani stressed that the next DG needs to be chosen by consensus. Turning to the Organization’s priorities and challenges, he rambled off a laundry list, including: meeting the 2012 destruction deadline; strengthening the verification and inspection regimes; preventing non-state actors from acquiring CW materials; the need for assistance and protection activities to support national capacity building; achieving universality; achieving full national implementation of the CWC; and the need to assist developing countries, citing the globalization of chemical industry as offering new opportunities for promoting the full exchange of scientific and technological knowledge. Dani also referred to horizontal cooperation between the TS and member states, suggesting the establishment of working groups comprised of delegates and relevant TS staff to implement recommendations from the RevCon.

¶16. (SBU) Q&A: India asked what the most important unresolved issues facing the OPCW are and how they can be resolved. Referring to the political atmosphere in The Hague, Dani said that much attention has been paid to destruction and countered that other issues, particularly Articles X and XI, should be concentrated on. Lithuania asked what role the DG should have in supporting the policy-making organs and consensus. Dani responded that the TS must give members all of the Qresponded that the TS must give members all of the necessary tools (e.g., documents, expertise) to strengthen the decision-making process and that the DG should work closely with delegations as a bridge and consensus-builder. Chile asked which issue will be the most difficult for the next DG to address. Responding in Spanish, Dani started by saying that the question posed a dilemma similar to a father having to choose amongst his children; there are some articles of the CWC that are not fully implemented, particularly Articles X and XI; post-2012, non-proliferation will be the greatest challenge, but terrorism also poses a threat and a challenge. The U.S. asked what Dani sees as the future for ZNG budgets and the tenure policy. Noting the necessity of management capacities, Dani said that the DG must work closely with his deputy and the nine TS directors; as DG, Dani would choose to delegate management tasks, based on his personal experience as a manager. Citing the validity of observing ZNG budgets for the time being, Dani did note that after 2012, the budget will need to be changed, with more resources devoted to implementing other articles, not just inspections. Breaking from the usual African Group question, Nigeria asked Dani how prepared he is to be the next DG. In a notably different response, Dani said he is encouraged by new trends in international cooperation and in disarmament, particularly since President Obama’s election. Quoting the Obama slogan “Yes, we can,” Dani said, “Yes, I’m ready.”

¶17. (SBU) (Del comment: The seven candidates’ presentations were all polished since earlier meetings with individuals and groups of delegations, including the Western European and Others Group (WEOG). Their responses to questions provided more insight into how they might handle the job and steer through controversial issues. The day-long exercise proved to be a good opportunity for the entire Executive Council to compare all the candidates. End comment.)

¶18. (U) BEIK SENDS

GALLAGHER

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