UN Secretary-General, OPCW Director-General Urge States not Party to the Chemical Weapons Convention to Join without Delay

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

The United Nations Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, and the OPCW Director-General, Mr. Ahmet Üzümcü at the high-level meeting at UN Headquarters in New York in October, 2012.

The United Nations Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, and the OPCW Director-General, Mr. Ahmet Üzümcü, have addressed a joint communication to the heads of State or Government of each of the eight States that are not Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention. 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.”

The Convention currently has 188 States Party representing more than 98 per cent of the world’s population and chemical industry, leaving only Angola, Egypt, Israel, Myanmar, North Korea, Somalia, South Sudan and Syria as the States that remain outside the treaty.

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 letter further calls for the respective governments to undertake a commitment to the legally-binding prohibition against chemical weapons in order to consolidate these norms and to ensure that such weapons are never used again.

Achieving universality of the Convention is a priority goal of the both the OPCW and the United Nations. This was stressed at a high-level meeting held at the UN Headquarters in New York on 1 October to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the entry into force of the Convention. Speaking on the occasion, the UN Secretary-General highlighted the importance of universality of the Convention and said that the use of chemical weapons by any country would be “an outrageous crime with dire consequences.”

Categories: OPCW and the UN

For further information, please contact Michael Luhan, Head, OPCW Media & Public Affairs. Tel: + 31 (0) 70 416 3710 or +31 (0)6 5356 8512 or media@opcw.org | ORGANISATION FOR THE PROHIBITION OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS, Johan de Wittlaan 32, 2517 JR The Hague, The Netherlands

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