28 April 2011
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Day of Remembrance
For over a century, chemicals have been used as weapons to kill and injure en masse. This cruel and universally condemned form of warfare has taken millions of lives. Victims that survive such attacks suffer painful lifelong disabilities and disfigurement.
We remember the victims of chemical warfare to honour their memory and to ensure that the torture they endured will not be forgotten.
An effective global ban on these weapons will serve as the most fitting memorial to these victims. The scourge of chemical weapons will be lifted when all States join and implement the Chemical Weapons Convention.
Today, 188 States have joined the Chemical Weapons Convention to form the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and forever renounce chemical weapons.
The Chemical Weapons Convention became international law on 29 April 1997.
The Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare is observed on 29 April each year – the date in 1997 on which the Chemical Weapons Convention entered into force.
This year, the Day of Remembrance is held on 28 April, in view of the fact that 29 April is an official holiday for the OPCW.
As in earlier years, the commemoration will provide an opportunity to pay tribute to the victims of chemical warfare, as well as to reaffirm the commitment of the OPCW to the elimination of the threat of chemical weapons, thereby promoting the goals of peace, security, and multilateralism.
A Permanent Memorial in The Hague symbolizes the ever-growing global will to eliminate chemical weapons and to establish a world free of chemical weapons. This commemoration provides an opportunity to pay tribute to the victims of chemical warfare, as well as to reaffirm the commitment of the OPCW to the elimination of the threat of chemical weapons, thereby promoting the goals of peace, security, and multilateralism.