August 6, 2008
Chemical Weapons Convention
The Republic of Guinea-Bissau joined the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) on May 20, making it the 184th stateparty to ratify the agreement. Currently, only 11 states are outside the CWC. The Bahamas, the Dominican Republic, Israel, and Myanmar have signed but not ratified. Angola, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, North Korea, Somalia, and Syria have neither signed nor ratified. The Russian government claims to have destroyed approximately one-fourth (10,500 of 40,000 tons) of its chemical weapons stockpile, which is the world's largest, pursuant to its obligations under the CWC. Its entire chemical arsenal is to be destroyed by 2012, although few experts expect it to meet this deadline.
On a related note, Russia opened a new facility on June 17 aimed at eliminating its arsenal of chemical weapons. The facility, located near Leonidovka in the Penza Oblast, is the sixth out of seven planned chemical weapons reduction facilities.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Army Chemical Materials Agency destroyed the last VX nerve agent-filled landmine at the Pine Bluff Chemical Agent Disposal Facility on June 20. Nearly 85 percent of the original U.S. VX agent stockpile has been destroyed since the United States ratified the CWC in 1997.
Copyright Arms Control Association Jul/Aug 2008
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