On 20 July, the Executive Council of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) adopted a decision calling for necessary international assistance in response to the Libyan Government of National Accord’s request for help destroying its remaining Category 2 chemical weapons on an expedited basis outside of Libya.
Today, the United Nations Security Council at UN headquarters in New York endorsed this decision and authorised urgent action. Both UN Security Council resolution 2298 (2016) and the OPCW Executive Council decision recognised the extraordinary security and environmental challenges associated with these chemicals, which can be used by industry. As pre-cursors for chemical weapons their removal and verified destruction guarantees they do not fall into the hands of non-state actors.
The OPCW will facilitate and coordinate assistance among contributing countries supporting the timely destruction of Libya’s remaining chemical weapons in the safest and most secure manner.
OPCW Director-General, Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, warmly welcomed the Executive Council decision and the UN Security Council resolution to extend international assistance to Libya: “We will work with Libya and those countries able to provide support to ensure that this threat has been permanently eliminated.”
The OPCW Secretariat turns next to assisting Libya in developing a destruction plan for the rest of its Category 2 chemicals and to recommending additional measures for their safe and expeditious transport, storage and disposal.
The Executive Council and the UN Security Council encouraged those in the position to do so to offer personnel, technical expertise, equipment, information, financial and other resources as well as assistance to Libya in eliminating the remaining chemicals of concern.
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