Lebanon Joins the Chemical Weapons Convention

Friday, 28 November 2008
The Embassy of Lebanon to the Kingdom of the Netherlands informed the Technical Secretariat that, on 20 November 2008, the Government of Lebanon deposited its instrument of accession to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) with the Secretary General of the United Nations. Upon official confirmation of receipt of the instrument by the United Nations, the Convention will enter into force for Lebanon 30 days after the deposit and this country will become the 185th State Party to the CWC.

The OPCW is the implementing body for the Convention. The OPCW Director-General, Ambassador Rogelio Pfirter, welcomed Lebanon’s decision as a significant step to strengthen global and regional efforts to prevent the spread and use of chemical weapons.

“Lebanon’s accession draws us closer to the Convention’s goal of the universal ban on chemical weapons, and we call upon those 10 remaining States that have not yet adhered to the CWC to do so without delay,” Ambassador Pfirter said.

The Convention aims to eliminate an entire category of weapons of mass destruction by prohibiting the development, production, acquisition, stockpiling, retention, transfer or use of chemical weapons by States Parties, who in turn must take the steps necessary to enforce that prohibition within their jurisdiction. All States Parties to the CWC are obliged to declare and destroy any stockpiles of chemical weapons they may hold and any facilities which produced them, as well as any chemical weapons they abandoned on the territory of other States Parties in the past.

All States Parties declare to the OPCW the extent of specific activities which could pose a risk to the object and purpose of the Convention. These activities are then subject to international verification and monitoring by the OPCW Secretariat, primarily through inspections, to ensure non-proliferation. States Parties also agree to abide by a verification regime for certain toxic chemicals and their precursors in order to ensure that such chemicals are only used for purposes not prohibited.

As a State Party, Lebanon will now be eligible to benefit from the OPCW’s international cooperation and assistance programmes, which provide support in drafting and enacting the legislation necessary to implement the Convention at the national level. This legislation enables States Parties to detect, prosecute and punish any breach of the chemical weapons ban committed on their territory or by their nationals anywhere in the world.

In addition, the Organisation provides support in the practical implementation of the Convention’s stipulations, in particular, establishing an effective National Authority to facilitate annual declarations and OPCW inspections, as well as to monitor chemical transfers and to maintain relevant chemical transfer restrictions. States Parties also receive training and may draw upon the Organisation’s expertise to enhance their national civil protection in the event of a chemical weapons attack or the threat of such an attack.

Press Release 13/2008

Categories: Asia, Universality

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

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