OPCW commemorates Sardasht chemical weapons attack

Ambassador Ahmet uzumcu, the director-general of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, issued a statement on Friday to commemorate the chemical weapons attack on Sardasht, Iran.

The attack, which occurred on June 28, 1987, is commemorated annually at a ceremony at the OPCW headquarters. uzumcu offered sympathies and solidarity to the victims of the atrocity.

"On behalf of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, I wish to convey my sincere sympathies to the authorities and the people of the city of Sardasht who suffered a chemical weapons attack losing precious human lives," uzumcu said. "I also offer our solidarity to those who continue to bear the painful consequences of that atrocity."

uzumcu said the world condemns chemical weapons and the OPCW is close to universally banning an entire category of weapons of mass destruction.

"The international community today stands united in its condemnation of chemical weapons," uzumcu said. "It has mandated our organization to work towards the elimination of the threat of chemical weapons forever. Remembering the tragedies of the past makes stronger our resolve to prevent them in the future. We are close to achieving the universality of the global ban on an entire category of weapons of mass destruction. It is our shared responsibility to ensure the success of the (Chemical Weapons) Convention in the years ahead, including convincing those who still remain outside of the treaty."

uzumcu said the world must rededicate itself to improving the implementation of the CWC.

"As we pay homage to the memory of the victims of Sardasht and reaffirm our resolve to permanently rid our world from the threat of chemical weapons, we must also rededicate ourselves to strengthening the Chemical Weapons Convention and its effective implementation," uzumcu said. "This will continue to give concrete expression to the legal and moral commitment we have undertaken to prohibit a heinous means of destruction."