Ban Ki-moon highlights threat of chemical weapons

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon recently acknowledged that chemical weapons continue to pose a major global threat.

Ban referred directly to statements made by the Syrian government about the potential use of its chemical weapons and the danger they pose.

"I once again emphasize the fundamental responsibility of the Syrian Government to ensure the safety and security of any such stockpiles. The use of such weapons would be an outrageous crime with dire consequences," Ban said.

Syria is one of eight states that has not joined the Chemical Weapons Convention, which bans the use and possession of chemical weapons. Angola, North Korea, Egypt, Myanmar, Somalia and South Sudan are also not signatories of the CWC.

Ban's comments came a day prior to the High-level Meeting of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which was formed to oversee the CWC's implementation among its member nations.

"The overall threat remains a serious global concern," Ban said. "Chemical weapons simply have no place in the 21st century. Progress in this vital area will help generate momentum to meet our goal of eliminating all weapons of mass destruction. The time has come.

"Chemical weapons simply have no place in the 21st century. Progress in this vital area will help generate momentum to meet our goal of eliminating all weapons of mass destruction."