Myanmar submitted its ratification instrument to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) on Wednesday, becoming party to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).
With the inclusion of Myanmar, the CWC will consist of 191 member states. Myanmar was represented by Foreign Minister Winna Maung Lwin, who addressed the executive council of the OPCW stating Myanmar's commitment to the upholding and fulfilling the obligations of the CWC. He also stated that Myanmar authorities looked forward to working with other member states in hopes to end chemical weapon production and use globally.
“Myanmar’s membership will significantly strengthen the global prohibition against chemical weapons, especially in Asia,” OPCW Director-General Ahmet Üzümcü said.
Currently, five countries lie outside of the CWC: Angola, Egypt, Israel, North Korea and South Sudan. Myanmar had originally signed the CWC in 1993 and the country ratified the treaty in January of this year. The Angola parliament has issued its instrument of accession and the government of South Sudan has indicated that it intends to join the convention as well.
The CWC is an international treaty that prohibits the development, possession, stockpiling, transfer and use of chemical weapons. Member states are required to take active measures in dismantling all stockpiles and any production facilities. The OPCW is the governing body of the CWC and ensures implementation activity and provides regional training in areas relating to implementation, analytical chemistry, medical assistance and other areas relating to the convention.