Palestine joins Chemical Weapons Convention OPCW

Accession of Palestine to OPCW follows decision to join other international bodies, such as Interpol and the ICC.

OPCW Palestine
The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, OPCW, is based in The Hague, Netherlands [Peter de Jong/AP]

Palestine has officially joined the Chemical Weapons Convention, according to a statement by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

The OPCW published the announcement on its website on Wednesday and said the move will take effect on June 16 of this year.

“The State of Palestine deposited on 17 May 2018 its instrument of accession to the Chemical Weapons Convention with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the depositary of the Convention,” the OPCW wrote.

The organisation is the official UN body charged with the implementation of the 1993 convention aimed at preventing the manufacture, stockpiling, and use of chemical weapons.

Nearly every state in the world has signed and ratified the convention and only four have not, including Egypt, North Korea, and South Sudan.

Israel is a signatory to the treaty but has not ratified it.

Palestine accessions

The move by Palestine is the latest in a raft of accessions to international bodies, having joined Interpol in September 2017 and the International Criminal Court (ICC) in April 2015.

ICC membership allows Palestinians to submit referrals to the organisation asking its prosecutors to investigate alleged war crimes committed by the Israelis.

In 2012, the state was granted non-observer status of the UN, a move opposed by the US and Israel, but voted through by UN General Assembly. 

In its 21-year-long existence, the OPCW has destroyed 96 percent of all chemical weapons stockpiles declared by member states.

Source: Al Jazeera

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