13 January 2009

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

Secretary-General congratulates iraq on accession to chemical weapons convention,

says demonstrates commitment to disarmament, non-proliferation

The following statement was issued today by the Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:

On 13 January 2009, the Republic of Iraq deposited its instrument of accession to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction.

The Secretary-General in his capacity as Depositary of the Convention congratulates the Republic of Iraq on its decision as it demonstrates its commitment to disarmament and non-proliferation.  The Convention will enter into force for the Republic of Iraq 30 days after the deposit of its instrument of accession, bringing the total number of States parties to 186.

The Chemical Weapons Convention is the first multilateral treaty to ban ‑- with international verification ‑- an entire category of weapons of mass destruction.  The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is the implementing body for the Convention.

The Secretary-General firmly believes that reaching universality of the Chemical Weapons Convention will significantly promote international peace and security and urges the remaining States not party to take the necessary measures to accede to the Convention as early as possible.

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For information media • not an official record