Myanmar deposited its instrument of ratification of the Chemical Weapons Convention on 8 July. After 30 days, the Convention will enter into force for Myanmar, raising its membership to 191 States Parties.
Welcoming Myanmar’s Foreign Minister, Mr Wunna Maung Lwin, today at OPCW Headquarters in The Hague, OPCW Director-General, Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, said, “Myanmar’s membership will significantly strengthen the global prohibition against chemical weapons, especially in Asia.”
In an address [PDF – 720 KB] to the Executive Council of the OPCW today, Minister Wunna Maung Lwin said, “Myanmar is committed to fulfilling its obligations under the Convention and looks forward to cooperating with other States Parties to bring about a world completely free of chemical weapons.”
Executive Council members warmly welcomed Myanmar’s accession and reaffirmed their countries’ intention to redouble efforts to bring about universal adherence to the Chemical Weapons Convention.
Five States remain outside the Convention – Angola, Egypt, Israel, North Korea and South Sudan. Of these, Angola’s parliament recently opened the way to Angola joining upon deposit of an instrument of accession, and South Sudan has indicated its intention to succeed to the Convention.
Myanmar was among the first countries to sign the Chemical Weapons Convention in 1993. In January this year, Myanmar’s parliament, the Assembly of the Union, ratified the Convention – opening the way to Myanmar becoming a State Party.
The Chemical Weapons Convention prohibits the production, development, possession, stockpiling, transfer and use of chemical weapons. States Parties must declare and destroy any stockpiles of chemical weapons and related production facilities, as well as any old or abandoned chemical weapons, and submit to an international monitoring and verification regime.