The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weons (OPCW) affirmed that there are no more declared weons of this type in the world.
The United States ended this Friday the destruction of all its stockpiles of chemical weonsa fact that according to the president, Joe Biden, brings the world “one step closer” to rid itself “of the horrors of these types of weons.”
The last two depots were in Pueblo County, Colorado, where there was about 2,600 tons of mustard gas in about 780,000 rounds, and in eastern Kentucky.
The first destroyed its last weons in June and the second, called the Blue Grass Army Depot, was completed on Friday.
The latter originally contained 523 tons of sarin, mustard and VX gas in shells and rockets.
“The United States has worked tirelessly for more than 30 years to eliminate its arsenal of chemical weons. Today I am proud to announce that it has safely destroyed the last ammunition in that arsenal,” Biden said in a statement replicated by the EFE agency.
The president stressed that successive administrations had determined that these weons should neither be further developed nor deployed.
The complete destruction of the arsenal, he stressed, not only fulfills the commitment acquired with the Convention on Chemical Weons, which precisely vetoes their development, production, storage, transfer and use, but also makes it “the first time that an international organization verifies the destruction of a whole category of weons declared of mass destruction”.
“I thank the thousands of Americans who gave their time and talent to this noble and challenging mission,” added Biden, who urged those countries that have not ratified that convention to do so so that the global veto on that weon “can reach its full potential”.
The Chemical Weons Convention entered into force in 1997 and, according to its website, gave the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weons (OPCW) “the mandate to eradicate forever the scourge of chemical weons and to verify the destruction , within the established deadlines, of the declared stockpiles of chemical weons”.
“Russia and Syria should return to complying with the Convention and admit their undeclared programs, which have been used to commit atrocities and brazen attacks. (…) Together with our partners, we will not stop until we can finally and forever free the world of this scourge,” Biden said.
There are no more declared chemical weons left in the world
The OPCW, for its part, claimed that all declared stockpiles of these toxic agents had been “irreversibly destroyed” after the United States announced that it had disposed of its last stockpiles.
“The end of the destruction of all declared chemical weons stocks is an important stage,” said Fernando Arias, the head of the organization in charge of monitoring compliance with this convention, in a statement.
This entity based in The Hague (Netherlands) assured that the measure taken by the United States means that “all declared stocks of chemical weons (were) verified as irreversibly destroyed.”
But the recent use of such weons means the world must still be on its guard, the Nobel Peace Prize-winning organization has warned.
In recent years, this watchdog has blamed Syria for resorting to chemical weons during its civil war and has investigated the use of Soviet-era nerve agents against a former Russian spy in Britain and against Kremlin opponent Alexei Navalny.
“The recent use and threats to use toxic chemical agents as weons show that preventing a resurgence will continue to be a priority for the organization,” Arias said, reports AFP.
With information from agencies