ICRC calls for the complete elimination of chemical weapons

The International Committee of the Red Cross gave a statement during the Third Special Review of the Chemical Weapons Convention on Wednesday, urging for compliance to the agreement on the elimination of chemical weapons.

The CWC initially established prohibition on the development, production, acquisition, stockpiling, retention, transfer or use of chemical weapons. This agreement is considered international humanitarian law.

Member States and the Technical Secretariat of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons have seen a successful compliance to the agreement thus far, as seventy-five percent of all international declared chemical weapon stockpiles have been destroyed. The ICRC asked Member States of the CWC to continue disarming all chemical weapons as soon as possible.

The ICRC urged countries that have not yet decided to ratify the Chemical Weapons Convention to do so and to adhere to the Geneva Protocol of 1925. The topic of the development of national legislation to criminalize violations of this convention was also discussed.

The CWC also recognizes the need to be prepared in the event that chemical weapons are used. The international community is expected to be able to respond to this type of event and several countries have already begun coordinating with humanitarian organizations on this matter.

The ICRC said that the use of chemical weapons should be considered as unacceptable as violating an international human rights or drug-control law, and that punishment for the crime should be enforced.

The ICRC concluded its statement by urging the international community to create a long-term plan for eliminating chemical weapons, preventing their re-emergence and ensuring the international community is prepared to respond in the event of use.