Next steps towards a Middle East free of chemical weapons
Kittrie, Orde F.
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A “Track II” Middle East Chemical Weapons Task Force (Task Force) comprised of policy and technical experts from ten countries in the Middle East convened in 2016-17 to discuss chemical weapons acquisition and use in the region and to identify next steps to more effectively address this threat. The Task Force reached agreement on this joint statement and on the attached list of 47 different potential regional capacity building and other cooperative steps to prevent, detect and respond to chemical weapons acquisition and use in the region. The aspirational goal of establishing the Middle East as a region free of chemical weapons is shared in principle by most governments in the region. All but two countries in the region are parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and the two have expressed interest in joining under certain circumstances. However, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has reported that many countries in the region which are parties to the CWC have yet to adopt the national laws and regulations necessary to implement their CWC obligations. In addition, most countries in the region have yet to implement their relevant legal obligations pursuant to UN Security Council Resolution 1540.
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