Days of WMD are over, U.N. hears

Oct. 9, 2013 at 12:19 PM   |   Comments

UNITED NATIONS, Oct. 9 (UPI) -- The days when nation states use chemical weapons during war should be a thing of the past, a U.N. committee on disarmament said.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon issued an appeal for the deployment of close to 100 chemical weapons experts to Syria in the coming months to destroy its chemical weapons stockpile.

Last month, U.N. weapons inspectors were able to confirm the nerve agent sarin was deployed as a weapon against a suburb in Damascus. Inspectors weren't mandated to assess blame.

David Donoghue, the Irish delegate to United Nations, told a committee on disarmament the "appalling" use of chemical weapons in Syria served as a "horrific" reminder of the international community's obligation to do away with such weapons.

"For the vast majority of U.N. member states, the days of these weapons as weapons of war are over," he said in a statement. Despite international treaties, there was "no room for complacency," he said.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, based in The Hague, Netherlands, confirmed Syria would become the 190th member of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons this month.

The OPCW said Tuesday it was sending more experts to Syria to oversee disarmament. OPCW Director General Ahmet Uzumcu said his team is making progress in "what will nonetheless be a long and difficult process."

Topics: Ban Ki
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