Stressing Importance of Chemical Weapons Convention, Secretary-General Urges Review Conference to Renew Support for Instrument

Following is the text of UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ video message to the Fifth Session of the Review Conference of the States Parties to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction, in The Hague today:

Chemical weapons are an abomination.  They have no place in our world.  Their use anywhere, by anyone, for any reason is unacceptable.  That’s why the Chemical Weapons Convention is so important.

Over three decades ago, this milestone of disarmament was the result of the world standing as one — and speaking as one — to express humanity’s horror at the use of chemical weapons.  Since then, the Convention has helped create a safer world for all of us.

But the use of chemical weapons has persisted.  Each use threatens to reverse our hard-won gains. We cannot go backwards.  We must make every effort to eliminate these senseless weapons of terror.  In the name of the victims of these attacks — and as a deterrent to future chemical warfare — those responsible for any use must be identified and held accountable for their crimes.

As you begin this Review Conference, I urge you to renew and strengthen your commitment to the Chemical Weapons Convention.  And I express my full support for the integrity, professionalism, impartiality, objectivity and independence of the Technical Secretariat of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons as it carries out its vital work.

Let’s revive the spirit that led to the Convention’s creation three decades ago.  Let’s rally the world behind our goal of a safer, more secure world for all.  A world without chemical weapons.

For information media. Not an official record.