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Chemical weapons destruction: watchdog confirms progress

The Watchdog’s senior official stated that "our goal is to guarantee that these chemicals don't fall into the wrong hands".

Nootdrop, 4 May 2023 (GNP): The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), World’s chemical weapons watchdog, claimed on Wednesday that Within the next few weeks, tens of thousands of tons of declared chemical arms stockpiles would be destroyed.

Head of OPCW, Fernando Arias said: “More than 70,000 tonnes of the world’s most dangerous poisons have been destroyed under the supervision of the OPCW”.

A little portion of chemical arms remaining in the US “will be destroyed within the next few weeks,” Arias told media during her tour of a brand-new facility, which opens to the public on Friday of next week.

The OPCW has destroyed 72,118 tonnes of stocks disclosed by nations worldwide since the Chemical Weapons Convention was put into effect in 1997 to forbid the use of toxic weapons.

A senior OPCW official declared that “Around 127 tonnes of declared weapons remained to be destroyed at two facilities, one in Denver, in Colorado, as well as at the Blue Grass chemical facility in Kentucky”.

“After 26 years, this is a major achievement for the organization, she added.

However, the official issued a warning that there are still a large number of abandoned chemical weapon stockpiles, particularly those that date back to the Japanese occupation of China prior to World War II.

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Chemical arms from the First World War still pose a serious threat today.

The officer said, “The remnants of four chemical weapons are still discovered every day”.

The OPCW, which was established in 1997 to maintain the Chemical Weapons Convention, was awarded the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize. But since then, it has frequently been charged with carrying out chemical attacks.

The OPCW’s chemical weapons inspectors “learned a lot in Syria,” according to Arias, who spoke at the new facility in Nootdorp, which is just a few kilometers from its headquarters in The Hague.

The experience acquired during the OPCW’s missions to Syria must now be organized and kept intact, according to Arias, or it will be lost.

The new center will take the place of a smaller, considerably older facility in The Hague.