Libya’s Remaining Chemical Weapon Precursors Successfully Removed

31 August 2016
A loading operation to remove the remnants of Libya’s remaining chemical weapons stocks. Photo credit: Defence Command Denmark

A loading operation to remove the remnants of Libya’s remaining chemical weapons stocks. Photo credit: Defence Command Denmark

Announcing a major milestone in the international operation to verifiably eliminate Libya’s remaining chemical weapons stocks, the Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, confirmed that the chemicals have been successfully removed from Libya on 27 August 2016.

The operation — facilitated and coordinated by the OPCW — responds to Libya’s request for assistance in meeting its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention. The request was approved by the OPCW Executive Council and endorsed by the United Nations Security Council in July 2016. Removal of these chemicals is the first stage of an ongoing operation to verifiably eliminate the remnants of Libya’s now-defunct chemical weapon programme.

The Director-General remarked: “This OPCW-coordinated international effort has achieved a major milestone in guaranteeing that these chemicals will not fall into the wrong hands”.

He commended the ongoing cooperation among contributing countries and expressed his confidence that the ultimate objective of verifiably eliminating the Libyan chemicals will be achieved in a safe, secure and timely way.

Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Malta, Spain, United Kingdom and the United States have so far responded to the call for assistance by contributing personnel, technical expertise, equipment, financial and other resources. Notably, Denmark has provided maritime assets to transport the chemicals.

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