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clear CIAO Focus, April 2004: The Chemical Weapons Convention
The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) bans the use, production, acquisition and stockpiling of chemical weapons and requires the destruction of chemical weapons by all member nations. The CWC was opened for signature in January 1993 and entered into force at the end of the signature period in April 1997. As of March 2004, 161 countries have signed, or acceded to, the Convention. The CWC is implemented by The Hague-based Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). At present, destruction of chemical weapons in signatory states has been delayed in some countries. Both the United States and Russia have been given extensions to complete the destruction of their stockpiles. The OPCW is stressing the need for renewed commitment for the elimination of stockpiles. Of further concern is that only 40 percent of signatory states have adhered to the CWC requirement to adopt laws aimed at reducing the proliferation of chemical weapons. Many experts consider potential terrorist acquisition of chemical agents to be a present danger.

This month CIAO examines the Chemical Weapons Convention.

From CIAO's database:

'Non Lethal' Weapons and Implementation of the Chemical and Biological Weapons Conventions

Chemical Weapons Destruction in Russia: Opportunities for Regional Development, Civil Society and Business

CIAO Case Study: Weapons of Mass Destruction

Protecting against the Spread of Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Weapons: An Action Agenda for the Global Partnership

Accounting for the Past in the Future of Multilateral Arms Control

Outside Links*:

Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons

Federation of American Scientists

Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Monterey Institute of International Studies

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Henry L. Stimson Center

GAO Report on the DoD Stockpile Destruction Program (PDF)

* Outside links are not maintained. For broken outside links, CIAO recommends the Way Back Machine [].