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Countries committed to chemical weapons ban
www.chinaview.cn 2005-11-12 09:47:53

    BRUSSELS, Nov. 11 (Xinhuanet) -- Member states to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) agreed on Friday to intensify their efforts in upgrading domestic legislation and strengthening international cooperation to ensure the full implementation of a global ban on chemical weapons.

    On the fifth and last day of a conference of the member states to the convention in The Hague, delegates from more than 120 member countries to the convention adopted a resolution calling for all member countries to deliver on their commitments to introduce necessary laws to ensure effective application of the convention, Chinese delegates to the conference said.

    Member states are urged to step up their efforts to improve the universality of the convention and to enhance international cooperation in the peaceful use of chemistry.

    The CWC, which came into force in 1997, is an international disarmament treaty which bans the development, production, stockpiling, transfer and use of chemical weapons. It currently has 175 member countries.

    The conference on Friday also approved the 2006 budget of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), whichis mandated to oversee the implementation of the chemical weapons treaty.

    The delegates unanimously approved the renewed appointment of Rogelio Pfirter as the OPCW's director general for another four-year term starting next July. Pfirter, a lawyer and an Argentine career diplomat, has been head of the OPCW since July 2002. His term ends on July 24 next year.

    During the five-day meeting, the tenth conference of the CWC member countries, delegates discussed the convention's implementation including the total elimination of declared chemical weapons stockpiles and production capacity, the verification and non-proliferation regime under the global chemical weapons ban as well as the OPCW's work plan for 2006.

    In their addresses to the conference, delegates reaffirmed their governments' commitment to universal and effective adherenceto the chemical weapons treaty.

    OPCW Director General Pfirter said so far about 12,235 metric tons of chemical warfare agent, representing 17 percent of the total stockpiles, had been destroyed under OPCW verification in five of the six member states which had declared chemical weapons.

    Over 2,200 inspections had been conducted at chemical weapons-related and industrial sites in more than 70 countries, he said.

    Pfirter called on all countries that have declared chemical weapons to complete the stockpiles' destruction within the deadlines set by the chemical weapons convention. Enditem

    

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