Annual Day of Remembrance for All Victims of Chemical Warfare

On April 29 each year, the anniversary of the CWC entry into force, the OPCW observes a day of Remembrance for All Victims of Chemical Warfare. Today is the 12th anniversary of the CWC and with the announcement of the Bahamas depositing its instrument of ratification last week, 188 nations are currently states parties to the convention.

UN Secrerary General Ban Ki-Moon sent a message acknowledging this day as “an occasion to recall some of the greatest atrocities in human history, to assess our progress in preventing any recurrence, and to pledge to continue advancing this cause in the future.”

Chemical Weapons News – April 28

India Completes Chemical Weapons Disposal; Iraq Declares Stockpile – Chris Schneidmiller – Global Security Newswire
India has become the third nation to eliminate its known stockpile of chemical weapons, the organization that monitors adherence to the Chemical Weapons Convention announced last week…

Seattle militant to testify in high-stakes terror trial – The Seattle Times
Ten years ago, on a dusty ranch in southern Oregon, one-time Seattle hustler and Muslim convert James Ujaama came close to having his head cut off by a Swede named Oussama Kassir…

Chemical Weapons Prohibition Committee annual plan approved – Yemen News Agency
he National Committee for the Prohibition of Chemical, Biological and Toxic Weapons approved on Saturday a draft of its bylaw and the annual plan…

Bahamas Joins Chemical Weapons Convention – Global Security Newswire
The Bahamas has become the 188th nation to join the international pact banning the production, stockpiling or use of chemical weapons, the treaty’s monitoring agency announced yesterday…

Responders Face Mock Emergency at Umatilla Chemical Depot – Global Security Newswire
Emergency personnel from the Umatilla Chemical Depot in Oregon and nearby jurisdictions on Tuesday conducted a drill involving the accidental release of mustard blister agent and other crises…

Alabama CW Disposal Site Might Need $40M Addition – Global Security Newswire
The Anniston Chemical Agent Disposal Facility in Alabama is likely to require new technology priced at up to $40 million to safely destroy decaying weapons filled with mustard blister agent…

Report Warns of Future Chemical, Biological Threats – Global Security Newswire
The United States is likely to face a growing threat in coming years from biological and chemical weapons that are increasingly lethal and easy to manufacture, the Defense Department said in a report published this month…

Removing our bad mustard: Somehow, weapons must go – The Anniston Star
It sounds like a worn-out cliche, but it’s fitting nonetheless: There may be no such thing as a welcomed surprise at Anniston’s incinerator…

Annual CSEPP Drill Tuesday Night at the Umatilla Chemical Depot – KNDO NBC
The Umatilla Chemical Depot had its annual Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program, or CSEPP, Tuesday night. Every year they simulate a chemical accident…

Tamil American Diaspora Groups Meet with U.S. State Department on Sri Lanka Crisis – EmMediaWire
Americans for Peace in Sri Lanka (APSL), a U.S.-based human rights activist group, led a delegation of 11 Tamil American organizations for a meeting at the United States Department of State with Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher and U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka Robert Blake…

Kuwait backs global bodies against chemical weapons – Arab Times
Kuwait affirmed here Tuesday that it supports all international organizations in its efforts to counter the use of chemical weapons against any state…

Killer Beets – Cecil Adams – Connect Savannah
I recently heard a rumor that sugar processed from beets contains traces of a poison used as a combat weapon in World War II. Is this true? What’s the difference between beet sugar and cane sugar, anyway?…

The Bahamas Joins the CWC

On April 21, 2009 the Bahamas deposited its instrument of ratification of the Chemical Weapons Convention. On May 21, 2009 the Convention will enter into force for the Bahamas and it will be the 188th State Party to the CWC. This announcement comes only weeks after the Dominican Republic deposited its instrument of  ratification of the CWC, and during the past year IraqLebanon, and Guinea-Bissau have also joined.

The OPCW is quickly making progress towards it’s goal of univerality as now only 7 states, Israel, Myanmar, Angola, the People’s Republic of Korea, Egypt, Somalia and the Syrian Arab Republic remain outside of the Convention.

Chemical Weapons News – April 20

Today’ Zaman has an editorial by OPCW Director General Rogelio Pfirter called “The Chemical Weapons Convention and the Middle East.”

Chemical disposal workers keeping neighbors safe – Katherine Poythress – Daily Home Online
Every day, like well-oiled parts on a fine-tuned machine, 31 Talladega County residents travel to Anniston to help make their region a safer place to live. They are not law enforcers, and they…

Crystal dig to open Saturday – Enid News
The Salt Plains Wildlife Refuge Selenite Crystal Dig Area will re-open at 8 a.m. Saturday. The dig area has been closed since April 2007 when vials from Chemical Agent Identification Sets were found…

OPCW chief calls for chemical weapons-free Middle East – Today’s Zaman
Ambassador Rogelio Pfirter, director-general of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), has called on Middle Eastern countries Egypt, Israel and Syria, which remain outside the Chemical Weapons Convention, to join the convention…

Modern warfare takes a biological route, not chemical – Eilish Brown – The Mount Holyoke News
In a time of constant discussion about terrorism and guerrilla warfare, it is important to understand the two most dangerous weapons available. Chemical weapons have been used for thousands of years…

Mustard Agent Leak Found at Utah CW Storage Site – Global Security Newswire
Workers at the Deseret Chemical Depot in Utah found Tuesday that a small amount of mustard agent had escaped from one bulk container…

Grand Jury Issues No Indictments in Probe of Kentucky Chemical Depot – Global Security Newswire
A federal grand jury ended its inquiry into alleged misconduct at the Blue Grass Army Depot in Kentucky without issuing any indictments, the Richmond Register reported…

Probe ends in no depot indictments – Bill Robinson – The Richmond Register
A federal grand jury probe into alleged wrongdoing at the Blue Grass Army Depot’s chemical weapons stockpile has ended with no indictments, according to a depot news release…

A strategy for achieving Senate approval of the CTBT – John Isaacs – Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
Biden was an important member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1999 when the Senate last considered the treaty. He also was a key figure in winning approval of another controversial treaty–the Chemical Weapons Convention…

Chemical depot officials report mustard agent leak – KSL.com
Deadly mustard agent was detected at the Deseret Chemical Depot in Tooele County Tuesday. A routine visual inspection of a storage igloo…

Istanbul to Host Workshop of Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons – Haber TurkNet
The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) will hold a workshop on Universality of the Chemical Weapons Convention in Istanbul…

Chemical Weapons News – April 13

Russia Faces Chemical Weapons Disposal Funding Challenges – Global Security Newswire
A Russian official reaffirmed last week that the nation has not yet received the full amount of anticipated funding for its chemical weapons disposal work from other countries, a problem that is likely to be exacerbated by…

Chemical Agent Disposal Waste Might be Treated at Pueblo – Global Security Newswire
U.S. Defense Department officials indicated recently that they could support on-site treatment of wastewater produced through neutralization of chemical warfare material stored at the Pueblo Chemical Depot…

Phosgene Kills Scottish Man – Global Security Newswire
A 24-year-old Scottish man died Monday when the chemical agent phosgene was produced inside his body through a mix of poison and water..

Lawsuit Claims Iraq Received Chemical Weapons Materials From U.S. Firms – Global Security Newswire
A federal lawsuit filed this week in Maryland claims that materials supplied by three U.S. firms helped former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein to produce chemical weapons used in strikes against Kurds in his country…

Lawsuit: Firms sold poison gas ingredients to Iraq – Associated Press
Three companies illegally sold materials to Saddam Hussein’s regime in the 1980s for making chemical weapons that were used to carry out attacks against thousands of Iraqi Kurds and ultimately caused scores of chronic ailments, according to a federal lawsuit…

US Companies Sued Over Saddam’s Chemical Attacks – Voice of America News
Three U.S. companies are being sued for selling material to the former Iraqi government of Saddam Hussein used in his chemical weapon attacks…

2012 final deadline for chemical weapons destruction for RF, US – ITAR-TASS
The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) decreed 2012 is the final deadline for complete destruction of chemical weapons in Russia and the United States…

Sri Lankan govt denies use of banned weapons – ABC Radio Australia
Ethnic Tamils in Australia and around the world have been holding large demonstrations against the current Sri Lankan government offensive against Tamil Tiger rebels. They accuse Colombo of killing innocent civilians caught in the cross-fire…

Sri Lanka denies using chemical weapons against LTTE – Thaindian News
The Sri Lankan Army Thursday denied its troops “extensively used chemical weapons” against the Tamil Tigers. The army called the allegation…

Al-Qaeda, Taliban Acquired Chemical-Weapon Formula, Says Pakistani Police Official – Global Security Newswire
Al-Qaeda and the Taliban have acquired a formula that could help the militant groups to develop chemical weapons, a top Pakistani police official told lawmakers in his country…

Chemical Weapons News – April 7

New Classroom At HAMMER for International Border Security Training – KNDO/KNDU Yakima, WA
A new classroom is opened at the HAMMER training facility that will be used by countries all over the world, teaching people how to find chemical weapons…

Destruction of mustard agent containers halted in Utah – The Salt Lake Tribune
Work to destroy thousands of small cartridges containing mustard agent has stopped because higher-than-expected levels of mercury were detected. Deseret Chemical Depot workers began incinerating…

TOCDF begins chemical-mortar destruction – The Middle East Times
The U.S. Army Chemical Materials Agency said work has begun on destroying mortars filled with mustard agent at the Tooele Chemical Agent Disposal Facility…

28 April 2009 Deadline for India to destroy declared chemical weapons stockpiles – News Ahead International
The Indian Government is obliged to destroy its declared chemical weapons stockpiles on 28 Apr, as agreed under the 11th Annual Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) of 8 Dec 2006. According to the latest media reports, nearly 90 per cent…

How Things Work: Tear gas – The Tartan
College activists, street protesters, radical civilians, and perhaps perverted stalkers are all familiar with what tear gas is and what it does. Nowadays, tear gas is usually used by both police for crowd control and by individuals for personal protection…

‘Qaida-Taliban combo has chemical weapon formula’ – The Times of India
The al-Qaida-Taliban combo plans to use parts of the Middle East as launch pads for attacks against the west. Not only so, the groups have also developed some expertise in making bio-chemical weapons, NWFP police chief Malik Navid…

UH team boosts hopes of finding WWII arms – The Honolulu Advertiser
After World War II, the U.S military dumped 2,558 tons of lethal chemical agents – including mustard, cyanide, lewisite, cyanogens and chloride weapons – at three deep-water sites off O’ahu, according to a 2007 report to Congress…

Army analyzes data from offshore dump – The Honolulu Star Bulletin
Army officials hope to have the results in about six months of tests on water and sediment samples collected during a 17-day, $3 million investigation at a military munitions disposal site five miles south of Pearl Harbor…

Chemical Workers ‘Setting New Benchmarks In Safety’ – Pine Bluff Commercial
Workers disposing of the last batch of chemical agent stored at the Pine Bluff Arsenal since the 1960′s have had no loss-time accidents since December 2006. They’ve also reduced Occupational Safety and Health Administration recordable accidents to one, and…

Moroccan party calls for Spanish damages over chemical war in 1920s – EarthTimes
Increasing voices in Morocco want the country to demand damages from Spain for the use of chemical weapons during the 1920-26 Rif war, press reports said Thursday. Colonial powers Spain and France put down a rebellion in the northern mountainous Rif region, which was part of the Spanish protectorate at the time…

Mustard agent filled mortars under destruction at Deseret Chemical – Deseret News
Under supervision of state regulators, workers at Deseret Chemical Depot have begun processing HT mustard agent-filled cartridges, or mortars, as part of ongoing disposal operations…

The Dominican Republic Joins the CWC

The Dominican Republic has deposited its instrument of ratification of the Chemical Weapons Convention. The CWC will enter into force for the Dominican Republic on April 26, 2009 making it the 187th State Party. The OPCW has made significant steps toward achieving its goal of CWC universality with IraqLebanon, and Guinea-Bissau all becoming states parties within the past year.

Now only 8 states, the Bahamas, Israel, Myanmar, Angola, the People’s Republic of Korea, Egypt, Somalia and the Syrian Arab Republic remain outside of the Convention.