End to chemical weapons in sight as 90% of world’s declared stockpiles dismantled

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has announced that 90% of the world’s declared chemical weapons stockpiles have been destroyed. Yesterday’s announcement follows a declaration issued by the OPCW last month that reaffirmed their commitment to global disarmament.

The Ypres declaration was signed on 22 April by 190 states, all of whom have declared their chemical stockpiles as part of the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993. Angola, Epypt, North Korea and Sudan have not signed the treaty, while Syria acceded to the agreement in late 2013.

The 90% milestone that has been reached includes weapons stocks, such as mustard gas, and chemical precursors for nerve agent production.  ‘This is a major milestone that shows we are well on the way to ridding the world of chemical weapons,’ said the OPCW director-general, Ahmet Üzümcü, in a statement.

Russia and the US are currently in the process of destroying their own chemical stockpiles, with the operation expected to be completed by 2023.