Annual international Chemical Weapons Demilitarization conference held in London
The Chemical Weapons Convention considers the destruction of chemical weapons a top priority. Last week's conference, the 18th annual Chemical Weapons Demilitarization (CWD) conference, took place in London and was attended by experts from across the globe.
"I am proud of the leading role played by our armed forces, scientists and industry experts in the destruction of Syria’s declared chemical weapons, showing true professionalism and expertise in the face of considerable technical and logistical challenges," Defense Minister Julian Brazier MP, who spoke at the conference, said. "But despite our international successes, credible reports that chemical weapons are still being used in Syria act as a stark reminder that there is still much to be done to put an end to the use of these weapons."
Studies have shown the chemicals eradicated in the U.K. could have been used to produce 100 tons of V Agent -- the most lethal of the classical chemical weapons.
CWD has hosted annual conferences around the world since 1998. This year's conference focused on destruction technologies, technical challenges, explosive detonation technology, chemical safety and security and recovery of chemical weapons from rivers and seas.
"The coordinated effort, which has brought about the near-complete destruction of the declared chemical weapons stockpile in Syria, is a considerable achievement of which the international community and the OPCW can be justifiably proud," Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, Director-General of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, said. "Sadly, ongoing events in that country also serve as a poignant reminder of the urgent need for the safe and effective destruction of all remaining stockpiles of chemical weapons, wherever they are in the world."