UNITED NATIONS, April 29 (Xinhua) -- Observing the Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare, UN Secretary-general Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday appealed for greater efforts to prevent the deadly weapons from proliferation.
Wednesday also marks the 12th anniversary of the Chemical Weapons Convention, which provides for the eradication of these instruments of mass destruction, entering into force in 1997. To date, 188 countries become states parties of the pact with the recent ratification of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas.
"Governments, international organizations and the private sector must all join forces to translate the Convention's provisions into action," Ban said in a message to the observance.
The Remembrance Day is an "occasion to recall some of the greatest atrocities in human history, to assess our progress in preventing any recurrence, and to pledge to continue advancing this cause in the future," he said.
The suffering of victims of chemical warfare "must be preserved in our collective memory," Ban said, calling for "tribute to their plight by taking all possible actions to honor the provisions of the Convention."
He pledged the United Nations' continued cooperation with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the international community to work toward putting the pact into practice, and urged countries which have yet to ratify the Convention to do so.
"On this Remembrance Day, let us honor the victims of chemical warfare by reaffirming our commitment to build a world where, in the worlds of the Convention, achievements in the field of chemistry are used exclusively for the benefit of mankind," the secretary-general said.