Global Campaign to Destroy Chemical Weapons Passes 60 Percent Mark

Thursday, 08 July 2010
The destruction of chemical weapons that have been declared to the OPCW by States Parties under the provisions of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) has surpassed 60 percent of global stockpiles, according to data reported today by the OPCW Technical Secretariat in The Hague.

The Technical Secretariat has now verified the destruction of approximately 41,692 metric tonnes, or 60.05 percent, of all Category 1 chemical weapons that have been declared by seven possessor States since the Convention’s entry into force on 29 April 1997.  

“Reaching this milestone is surely the OPCW’s main achievement to date, bringing us ever closer to realizing the vision of a world free of these horrific weapons,” said the OPCW Director-General, Ambassador Rogelio Pfirter. “The strong commitment shown by the possessor States in fulfilling their obligations proves that complete chemical disarmament under the terms of the Convention is indeed an attainable goal, and has made a significant contribution to international peace and security.”

Three of the possessor States - Albania, India, and a State Party that requests anonymity - have already completed destruction of their chemical weapons. The two countries with the largest stockpiles, the Russian Federation and United States of America, have met their intermediate destruction deadlines set by the Convention and are accelerating their activities. The Russian Federation has destroyed nearly 48 percent of its stockpiles to date and the United States just over 75 percent; however, both countries have confirmed that they will not complete destruction of their weapons before the 29 April 2012 deadline.

The two most recently declared possessor States – Iraq, which joined the Convention in 2009, and the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, which joined in 2004 -- have yet to begin destruction activities.

The Chemical Weapons Convention is the first and only treaty that is designed to eliminate an entire category of weapons of mass destruction under a stringent regime of inspections to verify compliance. Since its entry into force in 1997 the Convention has attracted 188 States Parties representing more than 98% of the world’s population and chemical industry. The OPCW Technical Secretariat currently commits 85% of its inspection resources to monitoring and verifying the destruction of chemical weapons stockpiles and their associated production facilities.

PRESS RELEASE 1/2010   THE HAGUE, 8 JULY 2010


Categories: Disarmament

For further information, please contact OPCW Public Affairs.  + 31 (0) 70 416 3242, media@opcw.org | ORGANISATION FOR THE PROHIBITION OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS, Johan de Wittlaan 32, 2517 JR The Hague, The Netherlands

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