Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Cambodia to join OPCW

BRUSSELS- Cambodia is to join the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) next month, making it the 170th member state of the OPCW, the OPCW announced on Monday.

"The Kingdom of Cambodia deposited its instrument of ratification of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) with the United Nations Secretary-General on 19 July 2005 and will become the 170th State Party to the Convention and a Member State of the OPCW on 18 August 2005," said an OPCW press release sent to Xinhua on Monday.

According to the CWC rules, thirty days after the deposit of its instrument of ratification, an applicant country will become a full member state of the OPCW.

"Cambodia is the ninth member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to join the Convention. Cambodia`s ratification brings Asia closer to universal membership as only a few States in Asia remain outside the jurisdiction of the Convention," said the OPCW.

The CWC is an international, multilateral disarmament treaty which bans the development, production, stockpiling, transfer and use of chemical weapons.

The States Parties to the CWC are obligated to declare any chemical weapons-related activities, to secure and destroy any stockpiles of chemical weapons within the stipulated deadlines, as well as to inactivate and eliminate any chemical weapons production capacity within their jurisdiction.

The CWC entered into force in 1997 and mandated the OPCW to eliminate chemical weapons forever. The OPCW verifies the irreversible destruction of declared chemical weapons stockpiles, as well as the elimination of all declared chemical weapons production facilities.


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