uzumcu: Syria demonstrates need for universal CWC

Ahmet uzumcu, the director-general of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, spoke last week on the importance of a universal Chemical Weapons Convention in light of recent events in Syria.

uzumcu spoke along with U.N. Secretary Ban Ki-moon during the third review conference of the Chemical Weapons Convention. The U.N. is currently conducting an investigation into the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria.

"As the secretary-general has just mentioned, he has decided to conduct an investigation of alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria," uzumcu said. "In accordance with our standing agreements, the resources of the OPCW have been placed at his disposal. States parties to the CWC have supported this U.N. investigation. Chemical weapons in the context of Syria is a matter of serious concern. Any use of chemical weapons is reprehensible and unacceptable. The situation in Syria also highlights why it is important to achieve universality of the convention."

Syria is one of the eight countries that remains outside of the CWC, an international treaty that completely prohibits chemical weapons under international verification. The OPCW has verified the destruction of 80 percent of chemical weapons declared to the organization.

uzumcu said the OPCW will face multiple challenges in the future, including the goal of a permanent and universal CWC.

"A permanent and global prohibition means that we will need to continue to work hard to ensure the non-proliferation of chemical weapons," uzumcu said. "In other words, to strive to prevent their re-emergence