The 1997 Chemical Weapon Convention Summary

According to the 1997 Chemical Weapon Convention, the use of chemical weapons in Syria is prohibited. Still, the convention also allows the regime or armed forces in Damascus to use force to suppress opposition and prevent its use (and there is no international agreement on the definition of force). The 1997 Convention requires the parties to take measures to stop the threat of attacks. If they fail to do this, they should seek the assistance of the UN or other international bodies to help them. There is a view among some that Syria’s use is unlikely to be repeated given the scale of recent events. But it is important not to get hung up on this question. There are limits to if they are unsuccessful, then ‘the convention shall take effect unless ratified by a State Party to the convention. The chemical weapon convention would then be ratified unless the Assad regime and the opposition failed to approve it by an acceptable date.

If the situation in Ghoutsa is not as Snezhana describes, then the convention could be violated, although whether it will be is open to debate. But the attacks will strengthen the public’s view of Assad and his regime’s threat to their lives and their future. This is a significant victory for the anti-war movement and its supporters. Assad has always claimed that he is fighting only for freedom, democracy and human rights. He does not need chemical and biological weapons to achieve his goals.

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In1993 when Syria joined the chemical weapons convention, it was not a state party to the convention. Syria had just become an independent state from a failed monarchy, and the issue of weapons of mass destruction was a mere pretext. As soon as the convention came into effect, the Syrian army was subject to United tween States and Russia’s strict demands. The Syrian government did not comply with the terms of the deal. When the Americans attacked Syria in April of 1994, they were not seeking to disarm Syria. They were seeking an excuse to bomb Syria, a pretext to invade, which they did. This was the moment the United States chose to strike Syria, and it has been the time of their most tremendous military success, their destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons program. In this way, Syria has brought the slaughter of its people to a new level.

Today, nearly one in every six Syrians lives under the control of a terrorist organization. A look at this terrorist state’s violence pattern shows the beginning of another cycle of violence that will continue until its demise. Also, the world should not forget that September 11, 2001, occurred because of chemical and biological warfare. Such weaponry is the actual crime. All countries with chemical or biological weapons must now join the international community to prevent the next terrorist attack and dismantle the weapons before they are unleashed.


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