SHAFAQNA – UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in his message on Day of Remembrance for All Victims of Chemical Warfare, 29 April 2015, called for common pledge to rid the world of chemical weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called this year’s Day of Remembrance for All Victims of Chemical Warfare ‘more significant than ever’ as it marks the 100th anniversary of the first time chemical weapons were deployed on a large scale in battle.
He maintained that the world today is still grappling with the inhumane and indiscriminate effects of chemical weapons, adding “one hundred years after chlorine gas was used as a weapon of war in Ypres, such horrific weapons continue to threaten humankind.”
Ban expressed his grievance over the fact that innocent lives are still being destroyed by chemical attacks, noting the reports of terrorist groups’ use of chemical weapons in Syria two years ago which served as a “shocking wake-up call to the international community about the continuing threat posed by these inhumane weapons.”
He highlighted the unification of the international community in their multinational effort to rid Syria of its chemical weapons programme, saying nearly all of Syria’s chemical weapon materials have now been removed or destroyed, and the destruction of the remaining chemical weapons production facilities in the country has commenced.
“The most recent reports of the continued alleged use of toxic chemicals as a weapon in the Syrian conflict are deeply disturbing. I strongly condemn any such use by any party to the conflict, call for the perpetrators of such acts to be brought to justice, and reiterate that any use of chemical weapons under any circumstances would be a grave violation of the 1925 Protocol and other relevant rules of customary international law,” he said in the message.
Ban underscored the importance of the Chemical Weapons Convention and strongly urged those few countries that still remain outside this framework to adhere to it without further delay.
“On this Day of Remembrance, let us do more than recall the past; let us shape a new future by renewing our common pledge to rid the world of chemical weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction,” the message concluded.
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