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UN: Syria 'casts a shadow' over Victims of Chemical Warfare Remembrance Day

April 29 is the Day of Remembrance for Victims of Chemical Warfare, as decreed by the United Nations in 2005. This year's observance called to mind victims of the on-going Syrian civil warn, said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
By JC Finley   |   April 29, 2014 at 4:25 PM   |   Comments

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NEW YORK, April 29 (UPI) -- The United Nations established April 29 as the Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare in 2005.

The date was chosen to commemorate the day the Chemical Weapons Convention was entered into force in 2005.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon spoke Tuesday about the universal need to eliminate all chemical weapons.

The UN head reflected that this year's commemoration of victims of chemical warfare was especially poignant after the use of chemical weapons during the Syrian civil war in 2013.

"The use of chemical weapons in Syria was a deplorable offense against humanity," the secretary-general declared.

"I take this opportunity to reiterate that any use of chemical weapons under any circumstances would be a grave violation of the 1925 Protocol and other relevant rules of customary international law.

"I also reiterate the importance of the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention. Six countries remain outside the Convention: Angola, Egypt, Israel, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Myanmar and South Sudan.

"Until membership is universal and the last stockpiles of chemical weapons are destroyed, our work will not be done. We must not relax our vigilance. We must do our utmost to deter any future incidents."

On Sunday, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons announced that Syria has removed more than 92% of its chemical weapons material. Investigations into recent

The OPCW announced Tuesday that inspectors will be dispatched to Syria to investigate recent claims that chlorine gas was used in a bombing of two villages, held by rebels, in northern Syria.

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