Biden: America Has Destroyed All Its Chemical Weapons: Biden – News Block

WASHINGTON: President Joe Biden announced Friday that the United States has completely destroyed its decades-old stockpiles of chemical weapons, fulfilling a commitment under his three-decade tenure. Chemical Weapons Convention.
“Today I am proud to announce that the United States has safely destroyed the last munitions in that arsenal, bringing us one step closer to a world free of the horrors of chemical weapons,” Biden said.
The United States was the last of the signatories to the Chemical Weapons Convention to complete the task of destroying its “declared” stockpiles, though some are believed to maintain secret stockpiles of chemical weapons.
“This is the first time that an international body has verified the destruction of an entire category of declared weapons of mass destruction,” Biden said in a statement.
The announcement came after Blue Grass Army Depot, a US Army facility in Kentucky, recently completed its four-year job of removing some 500 tons of deadly chemical agents, the last batch held by the Army from USA
The United States had for decades maintained stockpiles of artillery and rocket shells containing mustard gas, VX, and sarin nerve agents and blistering agents.
Such weapons were widely condemned after their use with horrendous results on the battlefields of World War I.
But many countries kept them and developed them further in later years.
The Chemical Weapons Convention, agreed to in 1993 and entered into force in 1997, gave the United States until September 30 of this year to destroy all of its chemical agents and munitions.
Other signatories to the pact had already removed their possessions, Fernando Ariashead of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), said in May.
That left the United States alone to complete the task, he said.
“More than 70,000 tons of the world’s most dangerous poisons have been destroyed under OPCW supervision,” he said.
According to the US Gun Control Associationin 1990 the United States possessed about 28,600 tons of chemical weapons, the second largest warehouse in the world after Russia.
With the Cold War ebbing, the superpowers and other countries came together to negotiate the Chemical Weapons Convention.
The elimination of the arsenals, doubly dangerous because it means neutralizing not only the chemical agents but also the ammunition they contain, was a slow process.
Russia completed the destruction of its own declared reserves in 2017.
By April 2022, the US had less than 600 tons left to destroy.
Biden urged continued vigilance to ensure all chemical weapons around the world are destroyed, saying the handful of countries that have not joined the convention should do so.
“Russia and Syria should return to complying with the Chemical Weapons Convention and admit to their undeclared programs, which have been used to commit brazen attacks and atrocities,” Biden said.

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