Tag Archives: Chemical Weapons
21 August 2014
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the destruction of Syria’s declared chemical weapons material on board the US vessel Cape Ray, saying: ‘This marks a significant achievement in the international community’s efforts to eliminate the chemical weapons programme of the Syrian Arab Republic following the framework agreement between the Russian Federation and the United States of America.’ (more…)
Source: UN News Centre | UN chief welcomes destruction of Syria's declared chemical weapons material
11 July 2014
On 9 July, the United Kingdom stated that is was probable that chemicals that were legally exported to Syria by British firms in the 1980s had been used for Syria’s chemical weapons programme. In a written statement to parliament, Foreign Secretary William Hague said that ‘from the information we hold, we judge it likely that these chemical exports by UK companies were subsequently used by Syria in their programs to produce nerve agents, including sarin’. (more…)
Source: The New York Times | UK Says Likely That Syria Used British Chemicals to Make Sarin Gas
19 February 2014
According to Reuters, Russia and NATO are drawing up plans for an exceptional joint naval operation in the Mediterranean to protect the United States (US) ship that will destroy Syria’s deadliest chemical weapons at sea.
A source at the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and several NATO sources in Brussels confirmed that a joint operation to guard the ‘Cape Ray’ is under discussion. Under the plan being discussed, NATO and Russian warships would share the task of protecting the Cape Ray, a US cargo ship that will process at sea about 500 tonnes of chemicals that are too dangerous to deal with on land. NATO and Russia are reportedly still trying to iron out some issues such as a unified command structure, the rules of engagement, and response procedures in case the convoy faces danger. (more…)
Source: Reuters | Exclusive: Russia, NATO plan joint operation on Syria's chemical weapons
3 February 2014
An US-backed campaign for the past three months to discreetly destroy Libya’s lethal arsenal and chemical weapons successfully ended last week. Hundreds of bombs and artillery rounds filled with mustard agents, which the US feared could fall into terrorists’ hands, were destroyed. The programme took 45 million US dollar from the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction fund and the Pentagon assigned Parsons Corporation to work with Libya to rebuild and safeguard the disposal site. Additionally, Canada donated 6 million US dollar to the site to restore water, sewage and electricity, and to build living quarters, while Germany agreed to send international inspectors to the site.
Paul F. Walker, an arms control expert with Green Cross International, stated ‘[e]ven though Libya’s chemical stockpile was relatively small, the effort to destroy it was very difficult because of weather, geography and because it’s a dangerous area with warring tribes, increasing the risks of theft and diversion.’ The disposal site is located in the desert where Islamist militants are gaining more influence and where the eastern and western provinces struggle over political power and oil revenue.
The programme used a Swedish custom-built device to destroy the chemical weapons. The device is like a giant, high-tech oven in which the weapons are fed into a gas-tight chamber, where the toxic materials are vaporised at temperatures up to 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The easily transportable technology used to destroy Libya’s chemical weapons has become a model for the programme in Syria to destroy their chemical weapons now underway.
Source: The New York Times | Libya’s Cache of Toxic Arms All Destroyed
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9 January 2014
The removal of the most critical material for destruction began on 7 January 2014, a week after the deadline for its completion set by an agreement brokered by Russia and the United States under which Syria renounced its chemical weapons material and joined the 1992 Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons. ‘This movement is very important because it’s the first important step in an expected process of continued movement for the onward destruction out of country’ Sigrid Kaag, head of the Joint Mission of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the United Nations told reporters after updating the Security Council on the accord, which set 30 June for the elimination of all materials. (more…)
Source: UN News Centre | Security Council expects Syria to meet June deadline for chemical weapons removal, official says