UN chief urges countries to join treaty to ban use of chemical weapons

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (right) with Ahmet Üzümcü, Director-General of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

27 November 2012 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today urged the eight States that have not yet done so to join the Chemical Weapons Convention which aims to eliminate the use, development, production and transfer of these deadly weapons.

In a letter issued jointly with the Director-General of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Ahmet Üzümcü, Mr. Ban called on the heads of State of Angola, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), Egypt, Israel, Myanmar, Somalia, South Sudan and Syria to commit to the legally-binding prohibition against chemical weapons to ensure that such weapons are never used again.

The Convention, whose implementation is overseen by the OPCW, currently has 188 States Parties representing more than 98 per cent of the world’s population and chemical industry. On 1 October, the Convention marked its 15th anniversary since entering into force.

The letter states that “the continuing growth in the membership of the (OPCW) […] is evidence that the prohibition against the development, production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons constitutes a universal norm.”

The OPCW stated in a news release that the letters “underscore the importance of achieving the universality of the Convention as a condition necessary to attain a world free from chemical weapons. These States have, therefore, been strongly urged to join the Convention ‘without delay.’”

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