Ban Ki-moon: Approximately 80 percent of chemical stockpile destroyed

Ban Ki-moon, the secretary-general of the United Nations, issued a statement on Monday to the 17th session of the conference of state parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention about the significant progress the convention has made.

Ban Ki-moon's remarks, which were delivered by Jarmo Sareva, the deputy secretary-general of the Conference on Disarmament, said that in its 15 years of operation the CWC was successful in destroying 78 percent of the declared stockpiles of chemical weapons in the world.

"Under the organization's supervision, 78 percent of the world's declared stockpiles of chemical weapons have been verifiably destroyed - a significant achievement," Ki-moon said. "I welcome last December's decision by states parties on the final extended deadline for the destruction of chemical weapons stockpiles, and commend the flexibility that allowed this important outcome. Let us now focus on fulfilling the core objectives of the convention and prevent the re-emergence or future use of these horrific weapons."

Ki-moon said that eight states remain outside the CWC and that it is critical that the states join the convention to move closer to a world without chemical weapons. Ki-moon and Ahmet uzumcu, the director-general ambassador, recently signed a joint letter that compels the remaining states to join the CWC.

Ki-moon closed by reaffirming the U.N.'s support of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the CWC.

"The past 15 years of achievement give justifiable hope that, with continued determination, you can achieve the ultimate goal of a world free of chemical weapons," Ki-moon said. "I wish you every success."