Albania the First Country to Destroy All Its Chemical Weapons

Thursday, 12 July 2007
On 11 July 2007, the global chemical weapons watchdog agency, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), confirmed the destruction of the entire chemical weapons stockpile in Albania.

Albania is the first nation completely and verifiably to destroy all of its chemical weapons by eliminating in total 16,678 kilograms of chemical warfare agent. The Albanian stockpile included mustard, lewisite, mustard/lewisite mixture, adamsite, and chloroacetophenone agents.

This disarmament campaign was conducted to fulfil Albania’s obligations under the multilateral disarmament treaty, the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). Any State that possesses chemical weapons and is party to the CWC is obligated to destroy these weapons. Destruction is verified on-site by the OPCW’s inspectors.

In commending Albania’s achievement, the OPCW Director-General, Ambassador Rogelio Pfirter, welcomed Albania’s completion of this campaign, which had required them to overcome considerable technical challenges associated with chemical disarmament. He also extended his appreciation to OPCW Member States Greece, Italy, Switzerland and the United States for the support they had provided in Albania’s destruction effort.

Since the CWC entered into force ten years ago on 29 April 1997, 182 nations have joined this independent, multilateral disarmament agency to abolish chemical weapons.

In total, six OPCW Member States have declared and secured over 71,000 metric tonnes of deadly chemical warfare agents. By the end of June 2007, over 33% of that total has been destroyed under international monitoring. Over 94% of the chemical weapons production facilities are already certified as destroyed or converted for approved peaceful purposes. As foreseen by the CWC, all chemical weapons stockpiles are to be destroyed by 2012.

The Chemical Weapons Convention is an international, multilateral disarmament treaty which bans the development, production, stockpiling, transfer and use of chemical weapons. All States Parties to the CWC are obligated to declare any chemical weapons-related activities, to secure and destroy any stockpiles of chemical weapons within the stipulated deadlines, as well as to inactivate and eliminate any chemical weapons production capacity within their jurisdiction.

The CWC entered into force on 29 April 1997 and mandated the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to eliminate chemical weapons forever. The OPCW verifies the irreversible destruction of declared chemical weapons stockpiles, as well as the elimination of all declared chemical weapons production facilities.

The OPCW Member States, together with OPCW inspectors, monitor the non-diversion of chemicals for activities prohibited under the CWC and verify the consistency of industrial chemical declarations.

In addition, OPCW States Parties undertake to provide protection and assistance, if chemical weapons have been used against a State Party, or if such weapons threaten a State Party. The CWC also calls for international cooperation in the peaceful use of chemistry.

OPCW on-site inspections are conducted in dozens of countries, where both military and industrial sites are subject to verification.

The global chemical weapons ban is approaching universality: as of 12 July 2007, 182 of the 195 States recognized by the United Nations are party to the CWC and together form the OPCW.

Only 13 States have not as yet acceded or ratified the CWC. Universality of the CWC is a key priority in establishing a global and permanent ban of chemical weapons.

The CWC\'s international jurisdiction now encompasses over 95% of the global

population, as well as 98% of the relevant global chemical industry.

Since 1997, six States Parties have declared chemical weapons and must destroy over eight million items, including munitions and containers—in total, over seventy-one thousand metric tonnes of extremely toxic chemical agents. By comparison, one drop of a nerve agent, no larger than the head of a pin, can kill an adult within minutes after exposure.

Six States have signed but have not yet ratified the Chemical Weapons Convention as at 12 July 2007.

Seven States have not yet acceded to the Chemical Weapons Convention as at 12 July 2007.

PR73 / 2007


Categories: Disarmament, Eastern Europe

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

Follow OPCW on Facebook and Twitter.

More news

Instructors Enhance Skills at 6th Edition of Assistance and Protection Training Course

THE HAGUE, Netherlands – 19 September 2017–Trainers from 21 Member States of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) learned how to better identify and target trainings on assistance and protection against...19 September 2017Full story

H.E. Mr Jean-Marc Hoscheit (Luxembourg)

H.E. Mr Jean-Marc Hoscheit, Permanent Representative of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg to the OPCW, presented his credentials to the Director-General on 15 September 2017.15 September 2017Full story

OPCW and UN Share Internal Audit Best Practices

THE HAGUE, Netherlands – 15 September 2017– Representatives of Internal Audit Services (RIAS) with members from across the United Nations System organisations, multilateral financial institutions and other associated...15 September 2017Full story

OPCW Director-General Calls for Adoption of National Implementing Legislation across Africa during Visit to Cameroon

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — 15 September 2017 — During his visit to Yaoundé, Cameroon from 12-14 September, the Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, was...15 September 2017Full story

H.E. Mr Marcin Czepelak (Poland)

H.E. Mr Marcin Czepelak, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Poland to the OPCW, presented his credentials to the Director-General on 15 September 2017.15 September 2017Full story

H.E. Mr Jens-Otto Horslund (Denmark)

H.E. Mr Jens-Otto Horslund, Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Denmark to the OPCW, presented his credentials to the Director-General on 14 September, 2017.14 September 2017Full story

First Responders from East Africa Community Reinforce Skills at Regional Training for Instructors

THE HAGUE, Netherlands – 11 September 2017– First Responders from East African Community (EAC) countries benefited from an instructor training held at Ditholo Air Base Tshwane, South Africa from 14-25 August 2017. The sixth...12 September 2017Full story

OPCW Director-General Bids Farewell to Former Mayor of the City of The Hague

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — 11 September 2017 — The Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, hosted today a farewell lunch at OPCW Headquarters for the former...11 September 2017Full story

Comprehensive Integrated Chemicals Management Discussed at Executive Meeting in China

THE HAGUE, Netherlands – 11 September 2017 – Executives from 16 countries enhanced their skills in sustainable management of chemicals at an Executive Programme on Integrated Chemicals Management in Shanghai, China from 29 August...11 September 2017Full story

First Responders from Latin America and the Caribbean Gain Skills in Emergency Response to Hazardous Chemicals

THE HAGUE, Netherlands – 8 September 2017– First Responders from Latin America and the Caribbean acquired essential knowledge on responding to emergencies involving hazardous chemicals after an Exercise on Assistance and...08 September 2017Full story

Displaying 1 to 10 of 1803
<< First < Previous 1-10 11-20 21-30 31-40 41-50 51-60 61-70 Next > Last >>