Chemical Treaty Progressing Too Slowly, Top Official Says

The head of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which oversees the Chemical Weapons Convention, yesterday said treaty parties were not acting quickly enough to enact legislation to implement the treaty and prevent chemical weapons proliferation (see GSN, Oct. 27).

So far, only 40 percent of the treaty’s 157 signatories have adopted domestic legislation to apply the treaty’s provisions, said OPCW Director General Rogelio Pfirter. “The rate of implementation is far from satisfactory, Pfirter said during the organization’s first regional meeting in Singapore.

Pfirter said there was a “real threat” of chemical weapons falling into the hands of terrorists.

Chemical Weapons “are not simply the unwanted heritage of a bygone era, and the emergence of international terrorism has added a sense of urgency to what already was in its own right a very serious security concern,” he said (William Choong, Straits Times, Oct. 30).

Pfirter also praised Russia’s efforts in destroying its vast chemical weapons stockpile, saying Moscow had made “a good start” by destroying 1 percent of its chemical weapons.

“We look forward now to Russian political will and Russian ingenuity, I would say, to allow for much quicker progress in destruction of stockpiles,” he said Martin Abbugao, Agence France-Presse/Yahoo!News, Oct. 29).

October 30, 2003
About

The head of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which oversees the Chemical Weapons Convention, yesterday said treaty parties were not acting quickly enough to enact legislation to implement the treaty and prevent chemical weapons proliferation (see GSN, Oct. 27).

Countries