Following is UN Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon’s message for the Remembrance Day for all Victims of Chemical Warfare, observed on 29 April:
The Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare is an occasion to reflect upon the terrible toll of these weapons and to pay tribute to those who suffered. It is also an opportunity to take stock of our efforts to chart a course to a world without the menace of chemical weapons.
Sadly, instead of being consigned to history, chemical weapons have re-emerged as a tool of war. We have witnessed new allegations of their use and have seen painful new evidence of the suffering they inflict upon their victims. This cannot and should not become the new normal. We have come too far to go back.
In the past year, two new States parties have joined the Chemical Weapons Convention, bringing the total to 192. The destruction of the world’s declared chemical agents has risen to 90 per cent. The United Nations has created a Joint Investigative Mechanism with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to help ensure that those responsible for the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic are held accountable.
On this Remembrance Day, let us renew our efforts to rid the world of these and all other weapons of mass destruction. Only by working together can we realize a world free of chemical weapons.