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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 10, November 1996

UN Secretary-General on CWC entry-into-force

'Secretary-General marks coming into force of Convention against chemical weapons,' United Nations Disarmament Commission Press Release, DC/2563, 31 October 1996

Full text

"31 October is a special day for the United Nations in our continuing efforts to further the cause of global disarmament. Today, I received thesixty-fifth instrument of ratification of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction, the Chemical Weapons Convention.

With the deposit of this instrument, the requirements for the entry into force of the Convention are now fulfilled. It will enter into force 180 days from today. The Chemical Weapons Convention is the first disarmament agreement negotiated within a multilateral framework that provides for the elimination of an entire category of weapons of mass destruction. The world has taken a significant step towards the complete eradication of chemical weapons. The United Nations welcomes the efforts of Member States to outlaw the barbaric and indiscriminate horror of chemical warfare.

Under the terms of the Convention, each State party will undertake to destroy chemical weapons and production facilities. Specifically, the Convention prohibits State parties from engaging in the development, production or acquisition, stockpiling and retention of chemical weapons. The Convention

establishes a tough and comprehensive verification system within the framework of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in The Hague. Full compliance with the Convention will require vigilance, patience and political will.

The Chemical Weapons Convention was opened for signature in Paris on 13 January 1993, and its entry into force represents a remarkable achievement. Above all, the Convention emphasizes the importance of global cooperation and offers lasting hope for a more stable and peaceful future. I urge all States that have not yet ratified this Convention, and particularly those with significant chemical-weapon stockpiles, to join those that have already done so, and to give full meaning to this historic agreement."

© 1999 The Acronym Institute.

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