Issue Date: June 4, 2012
Progress Made In Weapons Disposal
The U.S., Russia, and other members of an international disarmament treaty have eliminated 73.6% of their declared stockpiles of chemical weapons, according to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). A total of 51,128 metric tons of chemical warfare materials have been destroyed over the past two decades, OPCW Director-General Ahmet Üzümcü told the Chemical Weapons Demilitarisation Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, late last month. The Hague, Netherlands-based organization monitors compliance by the 188 member nations to the Chemical Weapons Convention, a global accord that took effect in 1997 and prohibits the production, stockpiling, and use of materials such as mustard blister agent and sarin nerve gas. Of the member countries that have acknowledged possessing chemical arms, Albania, India, and South Korea have eliminated their arsenals, Üzümcü said. The U.S. has destroyed 24,924 metric tons, or 89.8%, of its declared stockpile, he said, noting that the country expects to complete disposal operations in 2023. Russia has destroyed 24,961 metric tons of chemical munitions, or 62.5% of its original 40,000-metric-ton stockpile, Üzümcü reported, and plans to finish disposal work in 2015.
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