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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

European External Action Service (EEAS)

Chemical Weapons: Statement by the Spokesperson on the outcome of the Chemical Weapons Convention Review Conference

European External Action Service (EEAS)

EEAS Press Team

The European Union deeply regrets that the Chemical Weapons Convention's 5th Review Conference in The Hague ended on 19 May without a substantial outcome. Chemical weapons have been used on multiple occasions in recent years, making this review conference even more important.

In the run-up to and during the Conference, the EU and its Member States, alongside many other States Parties to the Convention, have worked constructively towards building consensus. Despite these tireless efforts it was not possible to reach agreement on an outcome document that would strengthen the Convention.

It is regrettable that the Review Conference failed to condemn violations of the Convention by Syria, as confirmed by the UN and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). While there were productive discussions on how to give guidance to the OPCW for implementing the Convention and adapting the organisation for its future work, the lack of an outcome document also constitutes a missed opportunity to agree on them.

In the current security environment it is more necessary than ever to uphold international law. The international community must continue to reinforce the global norms against the use of chemical weapons and stress the importance of the Chemical Weapons Convention as a crucial pillar of the international disarmament and non-proliferation architecture.

While it was not possible to reach an agreement, the EU remains encouraged by the fact the overwhelming majority of States Parties share the goals of full implementation of the Convention and holding accountable those who violate it and perpetrate attacks with chemical weapons. Together we will work to uphold the Chemical Weapons Convention as a means to contributing to international stability, peace and security.

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