United States Achieves Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) 45 Percent Chemical Agent Destruction Milestone

Monday June 25, 2007

What is it? The United States signed the CWC in 1993 and came under its provisions on April 29, 1997. The CWC prohibits the development, stockpiling, transfer and use of chemical weapons. In all, 182 nations have signed the treaty. The treaty includes a destruction schedule for chemical weapons stockpiles and a system of regular inspections. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is the treaty-implementing body for the CWC tasked to verify compliance by the United States and other member nations. All States Parties to the Convention (countries that signed the treaty) are automatically members of the OPCW.

What has the Army done? The U.S. Army Chemical Materials Agency (CMA) reached the CWC 45 percent chemical agent materiel destruction milestone June 18, 2007. CMA has safely destroyed a total of 13,775 U.S. tons of chemical agent since the CWC entered into force in April 1997. The United States already met its 1 percent milestone in September 1997 and its 20 percent milestone in July 2001.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future? The Army will continue to diligently work to destroy its remaining chemical weapons materiel, always placing the safety of workers, communities, and the environment first. The Army's chemical demilitarization operating facilities will continue to share their lessons learned and enhance their efficiency. The United States will continue to assist other CWC member nations with their chemical demilitarization programs, even after reaching our 100 percent milestone.

Why is this important to the Army? Meeting this milestone is a tribute to the hard work and dedication of the men and women at each of CMA's disposal facilities. That includes those currently operating, those that fulfilled their mission and are closed, and locations that are still safely storing chemical weapons stockpiles while their disposal facilities are under construction. The Army, its civilian work force, contractors, and CMA's stakeholder partners are all committed to leaving a legacy of a safer world for future generations.

INFORMATION YOU CAN USE

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