New Zealand welcomes moves to strengthen global ban on chemical weapons

Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control Winston Peters has welcomed moves to strengthen the global ban on chemical weapons, following the successful outcome of an emergency meeting held in The Netherlands this week.

New Zealand was one of a group of countries that supported the United Kingdom’s call for a special meeting of states who have joined the Chemical Weapons Convention – the global treaty banning chemical weapons.

“We welcome the conference’s decision to establish a mechanism that formally identifies perpetrators of chemical weapon attacks so they can be held to account,” said Mr Peters.

“It is vital that the international community comes together to ensure the prohibition on chemical weapons is upheld.

“New Zealand supported this meeting and its outcome because the recent chemical attacks in Syria, Iraq, Malaysia, and the UK seriously risk undermining the global norm against the use of this horrific type of weapon.

“The meeting also agreed to strengthen the role of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which verifies that the treaty’s obligations are being observed.

“New Zealand will continue to work with other countries to ensure chemical weapons are never used under any circumstances,” said Mr Peters.