EU reaffirms support to universal ban on chemical weapons

BRUSSELS, The European Union reaffirmed on Friday its support to the universal ban on chemical weapons.

“It is a tribute to all those who have lost their lives or loved ones and suffered harm from chemical weapons as well as a commitment to promoting peace and security,” said outgoing EU High Representative Federica Mogherini in a statement to mark the annual Day of Remembrance for All Victims of Chemical Warfare.

She noted that the Chemical Weapons Convention and the crucial work of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) have contributed to eliminating 97 percent of chemical weapons stockpiles declared by possessor states.

“But even if we are approaching an era where an entire category of weapons of mass destruction will have been eradicated, we are still confronted with their use today.

The chemical attacks on people in Syria, as confirmed by the OPCW Fact Finding Mission and the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism, are shocking war crimes and violate international norms,” she added.

The annual Day of Remembrance for All Victims of Chemical Warfare was observed at the OPCW Headquarters at the Hague.

A commemorative session was held in the Ieper Room, named after the site of the first large-scale chemical weapons attack in April 1915 in Ieper, Belgium, noted an OPCW press release.

OPCW’s Director-General Fernando Arias, said “on this day, we gather to respect the memory of victims and honour the courage of survivors”.

“This day is dedicated to their memory so that the tragic legacy of human suffering left by chemical weapons is never forgotten,” he added.

Source: Kuwait News Agency