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South Sudan to join Chemical Weapons Convention body

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December 3, 2017 (HAGUE) – South Sudan announced Friday that it has all, but concluded the process of joining the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

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A child’s arm shows off circular wounds consistent with chemical poisoning (Amnesty International photo)

The director general for international cooperation at South Sudan’s foreign affairs ministry, Moses Akol Ajawin said this while delivering a statement, on behalf of the minister, to the Twenty-Second Session of the Conference of the States Parties (CSP) to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) at The Hague, Netherlands.

“The images of victims of chemical weapons make us all the more appreciative of the goals and objectives of OPCW. As such, we, in South Sudan, would unreservedly like to associate ourselves with the noble goals and objectives of this great organisation”, said Ajawin.

Upon joining the CWC, countries eventually become member states of the OPCW and this enjoy the full benefits of the convention.

Ajawin said South Sudan’s council of ministers, acting on the recommendations of the minister of justice and constitutional affairs, resolved on 25 August 2017 to “approve membership in the OPCW”.

“South Sudan has no reason to sit on the fence,” he said, adding that the nation looks forward to becoming OPCW’ newest member.

OPCW’s director-general, Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, welcomed the anticipated accession of South Sudan to the convention.

“Today, we are one step closer to universal membership. I urge the other nations that have yet to join the Convention – Egypt, Israel and North Korea – to unite with the rest of the world in eliminating all chemical weapons forever,” he said.

As the implementing body for the CWC, the OPCW oversees the global endeavour to permanently and verifiably eliminate chemical weapons. Since the convention’s entry into force in 1997 and with its 192 states parties, it is reportedly the most successful disarmament treaty eliminating an entire class of weapons of mass destruction.

Meanwhile, more than 96% of all chemical weapon stockpiles declared by possessor states have reportedly, under OPCW verification, been destroyed.

(ST)

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