OPCW Director-General, Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, today announced that 90% of declared chemical weapons had been verified by the OPCW as destroyed. This includes stocks of unitary weapons, such as sulfur mustard, and primary precursor chemicals for producing deadly nerve agents, like sarin. All destruction activities have been completed in a safe manner.
“This is a major milestone that shows we are well on the way to ridding the world of chemical weapons,” said Ambassador Üzümcü.
The process to complete the elimination of Cold War-era stockpiles in Russia and the United States is well under way and is scheduled to be completed before the end of 2020 and 2023, respectively.
Commenting on other aspects of the OPCW’s mission, the Director-General noted that there was more work ahead, and new challenges to address, if the international community is to succeed in preventing chemical weapons from re-emerging.
The Chemical Weapons Convention has 190 States Parties, with six States – Angola, Egypt, Israel, Myanmar, North Korea and South Sudan – still outside the Convention. Angola’s and Myanmar’s parliaments recently approved joining the Convention, and both countries are expected to soon become States Parties.