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"ACA's journal, Arms Control Today, remains the best in the market. Well focused. Solidly researched. Prudent."

– Hans Blix
Former IAEA Director-General
The Chemical Weapons Convention

April 2000

The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), which outlaws chemical weapons and mandates that states-parties destroy their chemical weapons within 10 years, is now 131 states-parties strong. Forty signatories have yet to ratify the convention, which entered into force in 1997. Key non-signatories include Iraq, Libya, North Korea, and Syria, all of which were identified by CIA Director George Tenet in March 2000 as countries that "now either possess or are actively pursuing" chemical weapons.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), headquartered in The Hague, has carried out over 684 inspections in 35 countries and received declarations detailing chemical weapons-related activities, materials, or stockpiles from nine states—China, France, India, Iran, Japan, Russia, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Six states have declared the existence of old chemical weapons: Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom. China, Italy, and Panama have declared abandoned chemical weapons; and India, Russia, South Korea, and the United States have declared plans for the destruction of chemical weapons stockpiles. Of these four states, only Russia has not begun destroying its chemical weapons. The U.S. program, however, is the only destruction program in large-scale operation.

Convention implementation has not been without difficulty. Russia has had a great deal of trouble launching its chemical weapons destruction program, largely due to funding shortfalls. In late 1999, Russia requested an extension of the convention's deadline to destroy one percent of "Category 1" (the highest "risk" category) chemical weapons by April 29, 2000, three years after the CWC's entry into force. Russia's request is still pending before the OPCW. Russia is in danger of missing convention deadlines to eliminate 20 percent of its Category 1 stockpile by April 29, 2002 and to destroy its entire stockpile of about 40,000 tons of chemical weapons by April 29, 2007.

Although the U.S. chemical weapons destruction program is well underway, the United States was in technical non-compliance with the treaty for over two years, as it failed to issue regulations specifying procedures for submitting U.S. chemical industry declarations. U.S. technical non-compliance, which created logistical problems for the OPCW and sparked resentment by other states-parties, ended in December 1999 when the United States issued industry regulations.

—For more information, contact Seth Brugger.

Country Date of Signature Date of Ratification/ Accession
Afghanistan 1/14/93  
Albania 1/14/93 5/11/94
Algeria 1/13/93 8/14/95
Argentina 1/13/93 10/2/95
Armenia 3/19/93 1/27/95
Australia 1/13/93 5/6/94
Austria 1/13/93 8/17/95
Azerbaijan 1/13/93 2/29/00
Bahamas 3/2/94  
Bahrain 2/24/93 4/28/97
Bangladesh 1/14/93 4/25/97
Belarus 1/14/93 7/11/96
Belgium 1/13/93 1/27/97
Benin 1/14/93 5/14/98
Bhutan 4/24/97  
Bolivia 1/14/93 8/14/98
Bosnia- Herzegovina 1/16/97 2/25/97
Brazil 1/13/93 3/13/96
Brunei Darussalam 1/13/93 7/28/97
Bulgaria 1/13/93 8/10/94
Burkina Faso 1/14/93 7/8/97
Burundi 1/15/93 9/4/98
Cambodia 1/15/93  
Cameroon 1/14/93 9/16/96
Canada 1/13/93 9/16/96
Cape Verde 1/15/93  
Central African Rep. 1/14/93  
Chad 10/11/94  
Chile 1/14/93 7/12/96
China 1/13/93 4/25/97
Colombia 1/13/93  
Comoros 1/13/93  
Congo 1/15/93  
(Democratic Republic of) Congo 1/14/93  
Cook Islands 1/14/93 7/15/94
Costa Rica 1/14/93 5/31/96
Cote d'Ivoire 1/13/93 12/18/95
Croatia 1/13/93 5/23/95
Cuba 1/13/93 4/29/97
Cyprus 1/13/93 8/28/98
Czech Republic 1/14/93 3/6/96
Denmark 1/14/93 7/13/95
Djibouti 9/28/93  
Dominica 8/2/93  
Dominican Republic 1/13/93  
Ecuador 1/14/93 9/6/95
El Salvador 1/14/93 10/30/95
Equatorial Guinea 1/14/93 4/25/97
Eritrea N/A 2/14/00
Estonia 1/14/93 5/26/99
Ethiopia 1/14/93 5/13/96
Fiji 1/14/93 1/20/93
Finland 1/14/93 2/7/95
France 1/13/93 3/2/95
Gabon 1/13/93  
Gambia 1/13/93 5/19/98
Georgia 1/14/93 11/27/95
Germany 1/13/93 8/12/94
Ghana 1/14/93 7/9/97
Greece 1/13/93 12/22/94
Grenada 4/9/97  
Guatemala 1/14/93  
Guinea 1/14/93 6/9/97
Guinea-Bissau 1/14/93  
Guyana 10/6/93 9/12/97
Haiti 1/14/93  
Holy See 1/14/93 5/12/99
Honduras 1/13/93  
Hungary 1/13/93 10/31/96
Iceland 1/13/93 4/28/97
India 1/14/93 9/3/96
Indonesia 1/13/93 11/12/98
Iran 1/13/93 11/3/97
Ireland 1/14/93 6/24/96
Israel 1/13/93  
Italy 1/13/93 12/8/95
Jamaica 4/18/97  
Japan 1/13/93 9/15/95
Jordan N/A 10/29/97
Kazakhstan 1/14/93  
Kenya 1/15/93 4/25/97
Korea, South 1/14/93 4/28/97
Kuwait 1/27/93 5/29/97
Kyrgyzstan 2/22/93  
Laos 5/13/93 2/25/97
Latvia 5/6/93 7/23/96
Lesotho 12/7/94 12/7/94
Liberia 1/15/93  
Liechtenstein 7/21/93 11/24/99
Lithuania 1/13/93 4/15/98
Luxembourg 1/13/93 4/15/97
Macedonia N/A 6/20/97
Madagascar 1/15/93  
Malawi 1/14/93 6/11/98
Malaysia 1/13/93  
Maldives 10/4/93 5/31/94
Mali 1/13/93 4/28/97
Malta 1/13/93 4/28/97
Marshall Islands 1/13/93  
Mauritania 1/13/93 2/9/98
Mauritius 1/14/93 2/9/93
Mexico 1/13/93 8/29/94
Micronesia 1/13/93 6/21/99
Moldova 1/13/93 7/8/96
Monaco 1/13/93 6/1/95
Mongolia 1/14/93 1/17/95
Morocco 1/13/93 12/28/95
Myanmar (Burma) 1/14/93  
Namibia 1/13/93 11/24/95
Nauru 1/13/93  
Nepal 1/19/93 11/18/97
Netherlands 1/14/93 6/30/95
New Zealand 1/14/93 7/15/96
Nicaragua 3/9/93 11/5/99
Niger 1/14/93 4/9/97
Nigeria 1/13/93 5/20/99
Norway 1/13/93 4/7/94
Oman 2/2/93 2/8/95
Pakistan 1/13/93 10/28/97
Panama 6/16/93 10/7/98
Papua New Guinea 1/14/93 4/17/96
Paraguay 1/14/93 12/1/94
Peru 1/14/93 7/20/95
Philippines 1/13/93 12/11/96
Poland 1/13/93 2/23/95
Portugal 1/13/93 9/10/96
Qatar 2/1/93 9/3/97
Romania 1/13/93 2/15/95
Russia 1/13/93 11/5/97
Rwanda 5/17/93  
St. Kitts & Nevis 3/16/94  
St. Lucia 3/29/93 4/9/97
St. Vincent & Grenadines 9/20/93  
Samoa 1/14/93  
San Marino 1/13/93 12/10/99
Saudi Arabia 1/20/93 8/9/96
Senegal 1/13/93 7/20/98
Seychelles 1/15/93 4/7/93
Sierra Leone 1/15/93  
Singapore 1/14/93 5/21/97
Slovak Republic 1/14/93 10/27/95
Slovenia 1/14/93 6/11/97
South Africa 1/14/93 9/13/95
Spain 1/13/93 8/3/94
Sri Lanka 1/14/93 8/19/94
Suriname 4/28/97 4/28/97
Swaziland 9/23/93 11/20/96
Sweden 1/13/93 6/17/93
Switzerland 1/14/93 3/10/95
Tajikistan 1/14/93 1/11/95
Tanzania 2/25/94 6/25/98
Thailand 1/14/93  
Togo 1/13/93 4/23/97
Trinidad & Tobago N/A 6/24/97
Tunisia 1/13/93 4/15/97
Turkey 1/14/93 5/12/97
Turkmenistan 10/12/93 9/29/94
Uganda 1/14/93  
Ukraine 1/13/93 10/16/98
United Arab Emirates 2/2/93  
United Kingdom 1/13/93 5/13/96
United States 1/13/93 4/25/97
Uruguay 1/15/93 10/6/94
Uzbekistan 11/24/95 7/23/96
Venezuela 1/14/93 12/3/97
Vietnam 1/13/93 9/30/98
Yemen 2/8/93  
Zambia 1/13/93  
Zimbabwe 1/13/93 4/25/97

Sources :

Multilateral Treaties Deposited With the UN Secretary General, DOD, OPCW, ACA