November 30- Day of Remembrance of All Victims of Chemical Warfare

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– Each State Party undertakes to destroy any chemical weapons production facilities it owns or possesses, or that are located in any place under its jurisdiction or control, in accordance with the provisions of this Convention. 

– Each State Party undertakes not to use riot control agents as a method of warfare.

Parts 4 and 5 of Article I (General Obligations) of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction


During World War I, chemical weapons were used on a massive scale, resulting in more than 100,000 fatalities and a million casualties, and serious efforts to achieve disarmament culminated in the Chemical Weapons Convention. Following World War II, and with the advent of the nuclear debate, several countries gradually realized that the marginal value of having chemical weapons in their arsenals was limited. In contrast, the threat posed by the availability and proliferation of such weapons made a comprehensive ban desirable.

The Chemical Weapons Convention was adopted in 1993 and entered into force on April 29, 1997. It determined, “for the sake of all mankind, to exclude the possibility of the use of chemical weapons completely.” (Preamble)

The States Parties to this Convention established the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons “to achieve the object and purpose of this Convention, to ensure the implementation of its provisions. It is including those for international verification of compliance with it, and to provide a forum for consultation and cooperation among States Parties.” (Article VIII).

The Conference of the States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention, at its 20th Session, decided that a memorial Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare would be observed on November November 30 each year or, when appropriate, on the first day of the regular session of the Conference. This commemoration provides an opportunity to pay tribute to the victims of chemical warfare, as well as to reaffirm the commitment of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to the elimination of the threat of chemical weapons, thereby promoting the goals of peace, security, and multilateralism. The Third Review Conference of States Parties to the Chemical Convention held 8-19 April 2013 in the Hague, the Netherlands, adopted by consensus a political declaration that confirms the “unequivocal commitment” of the States Parties to the global chemical weapons ban, and a comprehensive review 

of CWC implementation since the last Review Conference in 2008, mapping out the OPCW’s priorities for the coming five years.

Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons

The OPCW’s mission is to implement the provisions of the Chemical Weapons Convention to achieve our vision of a world free of chemical weapons and the threat of their use, and in which chemistry is used for peace, progress, and prosperity. Today, the OPCW Member States represent about 98% of the global population and landmass and 98% of the worldwide chemical industry. In 2013, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the OPCW “for its extensive efforts to eliminate chemical weapons.”

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Shristi Banerjee

Lawyer, Jharkhand High Court (India)

Global Representative (India), Roya Institute of Global Justice