"Seven years after the Convention entered into force, efforts to rid the world of chemical weapons continue to occupy a central place on the global agenda. It is a source of encouragement that steady progress has been made in the destruction of declared chemical arsenals. Nevertheless, a great deal more remains to be done. I urge the concerned States to meet their obligations under the Convention, and call upon the international community to continue to support these efforts."1
Kofi Annan, United Nations Secretary-General
Throughout 2004, efforts towards the complete elimination of chemical weapons continued. By the end of the year, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) had inspected more than 750 facilities of various types in 66 States parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) over the past seven years. More than 71,000 tonnes of chemical agents and nearly 8.7 million munitions and containers were declared by six States by October 2004.
With the accession of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya and its declaration of chemical weapons possession, the total number of declared possessor States increased to six. By late 2004, four of the six declared chemical-weapons-possessor States parties had destroyed approximately 10,048 tonnes of chemical-warfare agents under OPCW verification, a figure representing more than 14.3 per cent of the total stockpiles declared. In the United States, more than 30 per cent of its chemical weapons arsenal was destroyed. India was approaching destruction of 80 per cent of its stockpile. The Russian Federation, which possesses the largest arsenal of chemical weapons, moved ahead after some initial delays and with the support of the international community, including through initiatives such as the Global Partnership. Albania declared a small quantity of chemical weapons inherited from the cold war days and started working with the OPCW on their destruction.
Progress continued on the 2003 Action Plans on national implementation of the CWC and on its universality. CWC States parties set a deadline for themselves of November 2005 for taking stock of how much progress they had made in developing and enacting the national legislation mandated by the Convention and in establishing the required internal mechanisms. Regarding universality, nine States ratified or acceded to the Convention which brought the total number of States parties to 167 by the end of 2004 and covered approximately 90 per cent of the world's chemical industry.
Ninth Session of the Conference of States Parties
The Ninth Session of the Conference of the States Parties to the CWC2
convened in The Hague from 29 November to 2 December 2004. Over 600 delegates from 108 Member States participated in the Ninth Session. Other attendees included four Signatory States,3
one non-State party,4
five international organizations5
as well as thirteen non-governmental organizations.
The Conference approved the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya's request to convert chemical weapons production facilities into a pharmaceuticals plant to produce low-cost vaccines to be distributed to the African market for the treatment of AIDS/HIV, malaria and tuberculosis. The Conference also granted Albania and the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya extensions of the intermediate deadlines for the destruction of their Category 1 chemical weapons. The final deadline for the complete destruction of their Category 1 chemical weapons is 29 April 2007.
The programme and budget for 2005 were approved by the Conference. The budget totaled Euro 75,695,000, of which 50 per cent was allocated to the implementation of the CWC's verification regime.
Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
The OPCW implements the CWC globally and is mandated to verify the elimination of all declared chemical weapons, prevent the proliferation of chemical weapons, assist and protect Member States in the event of a threatened or actual attack with chemical weapons, as well as to promote the peaceful uses of chemistry. Throughout the year, the Executive Council of the OPCW, the policy-making organ of the organization, continued to meet and discuss a range of issues.6
In addition, the OPCW organized regional and subregional meetings and workshops, as well as a variety of training courses.
Throughout 2004, the OPCW continued its verification activities. In his opening address to the Ninth Session of the Conference of States Parties, the Director-General of the OPCW noted that out of 64 chemical weapons production facilities worldwide, 35 had been certified as destroyed and 13 as converted. Seven others are to be destroyed before 29 April 2007. In addition, five of the nine chemical weapons production facilities to be converted for purposes not prohibited by the Convention were in the final stages of conversion.7
On 7 October, the Director-General of the OPCW informed the First Committee of the progress in chemical disarmament by declared possessor States and in the Action Plans on national implementation and universality. He noted that the OPCW "was moving decisively from being a new organisation still in the early stages of fulfilling its mandate, to being a mature one with a solid and widely recognized record of achievement and the increasing support of the international community."8
He stated that with the accession of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, the Middle East as a whole had become safer. He added that Iraq had indicated its political commitment to the CWC and pointed to the decision of the interim Iraqi Government to prepare the ground for accession once the newly elected government took office in 2005. The Director-General also cited progress in Africa, the Pacific, and the Caribbean, but said that "justified concerns remained about the Korean Peninsula and the Middle East, where large and long-standing conflicts persist" adding that "adherence to the Convention would constitute, in any area in the world fraught with tension, a significant confidence-building gesture. No one could expect that any sympathy or understanding should be shown to those who decided to keep the use of chemical weapons as an option. Chemical weapons were a heinous means of terror and destruction, aimed at and useful only against unprotected civilians."
In 2004, the OPCW continued to contribute to the work of the UN Counter-Terrorism Committee established under Security Council resolution 1373 (2001). It had also expressed readiness to provide any technical assistance and advice that were required by the Committee established under Security Council resolution 1540 on the prevention of access to non-state actors of nuclear, biological or chemical weapons.
States and regional groups again expressed their support in the First Committee for the CWC and the OPCW. A resolution entitled "Implementation of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction" was adopted without a vote on 27 October by the First Committee and by the General Assembly on 3 December 2004.9
For the resolution and voting pattern, see the General Assembly section of this chapter.
Message to the Ninth Session of the Conference of the States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention, SG/SM/9622, 29 November 2004.
The Conference of the States parties is the highest policy-making organ of the OPCW comprising all States parties.
Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Honduras and Israel.
The United Nations, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the League of Arab States and the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty Organization.
The thirty-sixth session of the Executive Council was held from 23-26 March; the thirty-seventh from 29 June-2 July; the thirty-eighth from 12-15 October; and the thirty-ninth from 14-17 December.
C-9/DG.8, 29 November 2004.
A/C.1/59/PV.7, October 2004.