Disarmament DiplomacyIssue No. 38, June 1999
Sudan Accedes to CWCOn 25 May, Sudan acceded to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), becoming the Treaty's 124th State Party. The accession has especial significance in the eyes of many States and observers due to long-standing allegations of potential chemical-weapons-related activity in the country. On 20 August 1998, the United States launched a cruise missile attack against the al-Shifa Pharmaceutical Industries Company in Khartoum which US officials claimed was "involved in the production of chemical weapons agents" on behalf of the terrorist network headed by Osama bin Ladin (see Disarmament Diplomacy No. 29,).
Welcoming Sudan's move, UK Foreign Office Minister Geoff Hoon noted (25 May): "The Convention is our first-line of defence against the threat of chemical weapon worldwide. With Sudan signed up it will be even more effective." A Foreign Office statement, issued the same day, observed: "[We have] pressed the Sudanese to accede to the CWC on many occasions. We hope that Sudan's accession will encourage other countries to follow suit, particularly in the Middle East."
Report: Sudanese accession to the Chemical Weapons Convention, UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office Daily Bulletin, 27 May.
© 1999 The Acronym Institute.