Ban welcomes Iraq's accession to treaty outlawing chemical weapons

13 January 2009

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed Iraq's accession today to the international treaty banning chemical weapons, a step bringing the total number of ratifications to 186 States Parties.

The Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction (CWC) is the first multilateral treaty to ban, with international verification, an entire category of weapons of mass destruction.

“The Secretary-General in his capacity as Depositary of the Convention congratulates the Republic of Iraq on its decision as it demonstrates its commitment to disarmament and non-proliferation,” a statement issued by Mr. Ban's spokesperson said.

“The Secretary-General firmly believes that reaching universality of the Chemical Weapons Convention will significantly promote international peace and security and urges the remaining States not party to take the necessary measures to accede to the Convention as early as possible.”

The use of chemical weapons against Iraq's Kurds in 1988 was one of the major charges brought against ousted president Saddam Hussein.

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