29 April 2008

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

Secretary-General, in remembrance day message, says adherence to convention


is genuine way to honour all victims of chemical warfare


Following is the text of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message on Remembrance Day for Victims of Chemical Warfare, today, 29 April:

This Remembrance Day is a solemn occasion for the world to pay tribute to all victims of chemical warfare, and to ensure their suffering will not be forgotten nor repeated.

The Chemical Weapons Convention, which entered into force on 29 April 1997, provides for the elimination of an entire category of weapons of mass destruction under a stringent verification regime.  All States parties to the Convention have an obligation to destroy existing chemical weapons stockpiles by 29 April 2012.  I call upon all possessor States to complete their destruction according to the agreed deadlines.

Since 1997, the membership of the Chemical Weapons Convention increased to 183 States parties, covering 98 per cent of the world’s population.  However, I remain gravely concerned that a number of key States have not adhered to the Convention.  I urge those States that have not yet ratified or acceded to it to do so without further delay.

Achieving complete elimination of chemical weapons and universal adherence to the Chemical Weapons Convention are genuine ways of honouring the memory of all victims of chemical warfare.  The United Nations will continue to work together with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the international community to promote full implementation and universality of the Convention.

On this Remembrance Day, let us renew our commitment to realize a world free of chemical weapons.  Let us redouble our efforts to build a safer place for this and future generations.

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For information media • not an official record