HON. ANTHONY HYLTON’S MESSAGE ON THE TENTH ANNIVERSARY OF THE ENTRY INTO FORCE OF THE CHEMICAL WEAPONS CONVENTION, SUNDAY, 29TH APRIL 2007


Today, the international community marks the Tenth Anniversary of the entry into force of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling, and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction, more commonly referred to as the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).
More than 90% of all countries, 182 to be exact, are Parties to the CWC. CWC State Parties including Jamaica, comprise countries of varied size and level of economic development; producers and non-producers of chemical weapons; and countries with a vibrant chemical industry and those who rely on exports of these chemicals, to fuel their own industries.
While the CWC is on the verge of achieving almost universal status, there is still work to be done to ensure that all states are involved in working toward the elimination of the development, production, stockpiling, transfer and use of chemicals weapons.
Today, we also recognise the important work carried out by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the implementing body for the CWC, on the efficient manner in which it has carried out its mandate for the past ten years.
The Chemical Weapons Convention is not only concerned with the banning of chemical weapons, it also provides for international cooperation, and States Parties, including Jamaica, have been able to expand their expertise in a number of critical areas including: the safe management of chemicals; scientific and technical research into the peaceful uses of chemistry; and the expansion of the skill and expertise of legal officers; chemists, administrators and other personnel involved in the implementation of the Convention, and the chemical industry on a whole.
A peaceful and prosperous future can never be fully realised as long as there are chemical and other weapons of mass destruction, which continue to pose a threat to our existence. With the cooperation of all States Parties, the CWC has achieved tremendous milestones in the elimination of chemical weapons; a true testament to what the international community can accomplish when all members work together.

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