The Second Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) Review Conference is to be held in The Hague from 7 to 18 April 2008. This international Convention provides for all chemical weapons to be fully and completely destroyed at the latest by 2012. By systematically verifying the destruction of such weapons as well as the existence of any facilities for their production the Convention makes an important contribution to preventing the proliferation of chemical weapons.
In this connection Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, currently on a visit to Warsaw, today (7 April) issued the following statement:
"Working for disarmament and arms control is a vital part of our efforts to promote greater security and stability. That is why we will be playing a very active role at the Chemical Weapons Convention Review Conference beginning today.
The German Government will press for the destruction on schedule of all remaining chemical weapons and for better implementation of all CWC provisions. Our goal remains clear: to ensure chemicals are employed solely for peaceful purposes."
With the CWC's entry into force on 29 April 1997, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) based in The Hague was also duly established. The CWC, to which some 183 countries have signed up, is now virtually universal in scope.
Germany is one of the leading supporters of chemical weapons destruction. Under a G8 initiative known as the Global Partnership against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction, the German Government is helping, for example, to fund the destruction of Russian chemical weapons. In this connection it has donated some 200 million euro for the construction of two facilities in Russia for the destruction of chemical weapons and earmarked up to 140 million euro for a third such facility.