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Scourge Of Chemical Weapons Must Be Eliminated

Ban Calls For Continued Efforts To Eliminate Scourge Of Chemical Weapons

New York, Dec 2 2008 6:10PM

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today appealed for continued action to press ahead with disarmament efforts regarding chemical weapons, noting the positive steps that have already been taken towards eliminating the scourge.

Addressing the 13th session of the Conference of the States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention at The Hague, Netherlands, he said it was “encouraging” that nearly half of the stockpiles of chemical agents declared by the six possessor States have been verifiably destroyed.

“I call upon all possessor States to complete their destruction according to the required deadlines,” he said in a message delivered by Sergei Ordzhonikidze, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva.

The Convention, which provides for the eradication of these instruments of mass destruction, entered into force in 1997, and 185 States have signed on to the treaty, which obliges States Parties to the pact are obliged to destroy their existing stockpiles by 29 April 2012.

The Secretary-General today said that this pact is the first multilateral treaty to ban, with international verification, an entire category of weapons of mass destruction.

“I am hopeful that further progress will be made in each area covered by the Convention: chemical disarmament, non-proliferation, assistance and protection, and international cooperation,” he said.

Mr. Ban also urged States to build upon other existing disarmament and non-proliferation pacts and to commit to collaboration among nations to “achieve our common objectives in the area of weapons of mass destruction.”

Formally known as the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction, the treaty aims to eliminate an entire category of weapons of mass destruction by prohibiting the development, production, acquisition, stockpiling, retention, transfer or use of these arms by States Parties.

ENDS

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