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Chemical weapons treaty key to global efforts against terrorism, UN agency says

Chemical weapons treaty key to global efforts against terrorism, UN agency says

The United Nations Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has urged countries to redouble their efforts to ensure the universality of the UN treaty against chemical weapons.

In a statement issued last Friday, OPCW's Executive Council unequivocally condemned the 11 September terrorist attacks in the United States and expressed its condolences to the victims, their families, as well as to the US Government.

The 41-nation Council said it was convinced that the comprehensive implementation of the Convention would contribute to the reduction of the threat of chemical terrorism, thus assisting global efforts to combat all forms of terrorism. It appealed to all States to implement the treaty so that, in the words of OPCW's Director-General Jose M. Bustani, "no safe haven could harbour terrorists contemplating the use of chemical weapons."

The Council also urged States to comply with their obligations under the treaty, including the destruction of chemical weapons, and the prevention of the diversion and illegal use of chemicals and chemical technologies.

"The Council urges the States Parties to develop further means and measures to provide legislative support and assistance to States Parties in the enacting of enforceable, national legal provisions for the effective implementation of the Convention, which prohibits any natural or legal persons anywhere on their territory from undertaking any activity prohibited under the Convention," the statement said.