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 Geneva, 9 October 2013IPU Logo-bottom

Parliaments Demand Zero Tolerance on Chemical Weapons

Ms. Maria Lohela (Finland), presenting the resolution to the Assembly. ©IPU/Giancarlo Fortunato

The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) has called on all its 163 members to condemn the use of chemical weapons and to demand their respective governments sign and ratify the Chemical Weapons Convention (CPW).

Adopted at the closing of its three-day 129th Assembly in Geneva, an emergency IPU resolution demanded that all States not yet party to the Convention accede to or ratify it as a matter of urgency and without any preconditions.

Parliaments needed to check their national legislation concerning chemical weapons and ensure its effective implementation. They also needed to contribute to a zero tolerance environment for the development, production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons.

Stressing universal adherence to the ban on the use of such weapons, the resolution also underscored the importance of the speedy destruction of declared stockpiles. IPU members have expressed concern at the continued existence of declared stockpiles amounting to more than 13,000 metric tonnes.

The IPU resolution also asks the international community to look for sources of funding to be used for the safe and speedy destruction of all stockpiles.

While saddened by the latest use of chemical weapons claiming hundreds of lives, IPU recognized Syria’s accession to the CPW - to which 189 States are party - and underlined the need for full compliance with the provisions of the Convention.

The resolution asked all parliaments to support and fully comply with the invaluable work being done by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to oversee and monitor the implementation of the Convention.

Concluding the Assembly, IPU members also expressed deep concern over the recent terrorist act in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, which claimed the lives of 67 people and injured 175.

In a statement on behalf of the membership, IPU President Abdelwahad Radi condemned terrorism in all its forms and expressed outrage “at such cowardly and reprehensible acts, which cannot be justified on any political, religious or ideological grounds.”

He appealed to national parliaments to ensure that counter-terrorism laws are in place and enforced.

“Impunity for the perpetrators of terrorists acts will only beget further acts of terrorism,” he stated.

With a particularly large high-level participation that included more than 40 Speakers of Parliament, the Assembly put a great emphasis on non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

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The global organization of parliaments, IPU works to establish democracy, peace and cooperation among peoples. The world’s oldest international political organization, established in 1889, IPU is the focal point for worldwide parliamentary dialogue. It brings together 163 member Parliaments and ten associate regional assemblies.

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