Issue No. 47, June 2000
Geneva Protocol Anniversary
'Statement by the President,' The White House, Office of the
Press Secretary, June 17, 2000.
"Seventy-five years ago today, June 17, 1925, the international
community took a major step toward protecting the world from the
dangers of weapons of mass destruction by concluding the Geneva
Protocol of 1925. In the aftermath of the terrible casualties
caused by poison gas in World War I, the Geneva Protocol banned the
use in war of chemical and biological weapons.
More recently, the international community has worked to build
on this achievement. The 1972 Biological Weapons Convention (BWC)
banned the development, production and possession of biological and
toxin weapons, and the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) did
the same for chemical weapons. Today, 135 countries are parties to
the CWC, and 143 are parties to the BWC. The United States has
ratified both agreements, and our commitment to them has enjoyed
strong bipartisan support.
Today, one of the greatest threats to American and global
security is the danger that adversary nations or terrorist groups
will obtain and use chemical or biological weapons. The
international agreements we have reached banning these weapons are
a critical component of our effort to protect against this
In my 1998 State of the Union address, I called on the
international community to strengthen the Biological Weapons
Convention with a new international inspection system to help
detect and deter cheating. Significant progress has been made in
Geneva at the Ad Hoc Group of BWC States Parties toward achieving
this goal. We urge all participants in this process to work toward
the earliest possible conclusion of a BWC Protocol that will
further strengthen international security.
On this 75th anniversary of the Geneva Protocol, I call on the
countries of the world who have not yet done so to join the Geneva
Protocol, CWC and BWC. I call on all parties to strictly adhere to
these agreements and to work to strengthen them. It is more urgent
than ever that, true to the words of the Geneva Protocol, their
prohibitions 'shall be universally accepted...binding alike the
conscience and the practice of nations.'"
Russian Foreign Ministry Statement, Document 580-21-6-2000,
June 21, 2000.
"On June 17, which marked the 75th anniversary of the signing of
the 1925 Geneva Protocol which banned the use of poison gases and
bacteriological means, President Putin of the Russian Federation
issued a statement to the effect that Russia steadfastly adheres to
the provisions and principles of the Geneva Protocol and the
Convention on the Prohibition of Biological Weapons whose 25th
anniversary was also marked this year. The statement also stresses
that on May 22, 2000, a draft federal law was introduced at the
State Duma that would cancel the reservations to the Geneva
Protocol the USSR made in 1928. Thereby the Russian President
reaffirmed the commitment of Russia to strictly honoring the spirit
and the letter of the two key international agreements which ban a
most dangerous type of mass destruction weapon, the biological
The statement of the Russian President says that Russia for its
part counts on strict compliance with these agreements by other
signatory states, and notes the active role Russia is playing in
the negotiations to work out a protocol to the Convention on the
Prohibition of Biological Weapons that would create a mechanism for
monitoring compliance therewith."
© 2000 The Acronym Institute.
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