Bigirimana addressing the Chemical Weapons Convention at Hague, Netherlands on Monday
By: Kim Aine
Uganda is committed to the exploitation of available nuclear resources for economic development, a high ranking government official told the Chemical Weapons Convention in Hague, Netherlands on Monday.
While Uganda has deposits of uranium, it does not possess, produce or have stockpiles of chemical weapons.
Pius Bigirimana, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development told delegates that Uganda needs support to realise its potential in the use of nuclear.
“My delegation would like to see the full implementation of Article eleven (XI) through substantial assistance to non-possessor States in order to enable them develop chemical capacity and Industry,” said Bigirimana.
“This will facilitate the developing countries to view the Convention as a relevant tool and as a catalyst for economic development through the unlimited use of chemicals for peaceful purposes not prohibited in the Convention,” he added.
Bigirimana, who also serves as the Head of Uganda National Authority for Implementation of the Chemical weapons convention, further welcomed “development of concrete measures to ensure the promotion of international cooperation in the field of chemical activities through the exchange of scientific and technical information.”
In 2013, President Museveni told a summit of East African leaders in Kampala that, “It’s a very big shame if you see the kilowatts per capita of our countries. Even if we developed all the hydropower dams we still need more power, where will more power come from?”
He added: “For us we are already planning for nuclear energy. Currently we have found uranium. As long as I am in the chair, nobody will touch the uranium in Uganda.”
ChimpReports understands the nuclear energy pact was signed in 2012 between Uganda and International Atomic Energy Agency.
Bigirimana submitted that support from the Technical Secretariat in the implementation of the programme for Africa has continued to infuse the necessary skills and capacity building within the implementation of the Convention which will assist my country in its economic development.
“With regard to the East African Community (EAC) Chemical Emergency Response, Planning and Management Mechanism, the Uganda delegation and the EAC region are pleased with the development of this important mechanism in the region,” he added.
He hailed support rendered by the OPCW especially the Assistance and Protection Branch, the Czech Republic, the United Kingdom and the USA in making this essential mechanism a reality for Uganda.
Uganda hosted members from States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention in East African region for an Operational Training in Emergency Response to Chemical Incident or attack.
The objectives of the training carried out in Jinja this month was to equip the participants with knowledge and skills in handling emergencies involving toxic chemicals.
Uganda proposed that the OPCW includes this activity in their calendar as an annual event so that the equipment donated is used appropriately to develop the capacity in the region and in Africa at large.