5 November 2007

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York



Following is the text of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message to the twelfth session of the Conference of States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention, as delivered by Sergio Duarte, High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, at The Hague today, 5 November:

I am pleased to send greetings to the twelfth session of the Conference of the States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention.

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the entry into force of the Convention.  Today, it stands as a monument to the world’s determination to eliminate one of the most inhumane weapons ever conceived.

At this juncture, it is important for you, the States parties, to reflect on the challenges ahead in the implementation of the Convention and in the work of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

With 182 parties, the Chemical Weapons Convention now enjoys close to universal membership.  Yet, several key actors remain outside its framework.  Their adherence to the Convention is critical to the success of this multilateral disarmament treaty.  I urge all Governments that have not yet done so to ratify or accede to the Convention without delay.

In an effort to build a world free of these cruel weapons, it is equally important for all States parties to adopt and enhance national implementation measures as required by the Convention.

The treaty has contributed to steady progress in the destruction of declared chemical weapons stockpiles.   Albania was the first to complete the destruction of its entire stockpile of chemical weapons on 11 July 2007.  I congratulate Albania on this landmark achievement and call upon all possessor States to complete the destruction of their stockpiles within already established deadlines.

I am encouraged by the strong cooperation between the United Nations and the OPCW.  I am also pleased that the States parties and the OPCW continue to support the implementation of Security Council resolution 1540 (2004) relating to the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

We have a shared duty to ensure that future generations never experience the horrors of chemical weapons.  Towards that end, the United Nations will continue to work together with the OPCW and the international community to promote universality and full implementation of the Convention.

In that spirit, please accept my best wishes for a successful session.

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For information media • not an official record