On the 29th April 1997 the United Nations Chemical Weapons Convention entered into force, with the object to “exclude completely the possibility of the use of chemical weapons” (Preamble). The 29th April is now observed by the United Nations every year as a Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare.
In the same year that the Convention entered into force, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) was formed. Today, the OPCW Member States represent about 98% of the global population and landmass, as well as 98% of the worldwide chemical industry (UN).
Unfortunately, the use of chemical weapons has not been totally eradicated around the world, and there are still those suffering the effects of such weapons today. The Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare offers an opportunity to pay tribute to those victims, both past and present, to reflect on the deadly consequences of chemical weapons, and, according to the United Nations, to “reaffirm the committment of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to the elimination of the threat of chemical weapons” (UN).
For more information about this day, head to www.un.org/en/events/chemwarfareday, and to learn about the important work of the OPCW, visit their website www.opcw.org.