IRRC No. 899

Chemical Control: Regulation of Incapacitating Chemical Agent Weapons, Riot Control Agents and their Means of Delivery

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Imperfections in international arms control agreements are a common outcome of multilateral negotiations. But, they can have significant implications, especially where exceptions are made for specific parties or circumstances, as is the case for the treaty prohibiting chemical weapons. When agreement finally came in late 1992 – after decade-long negotiations – on a Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), it contained a special provision for law enforcement. With the use of toxicity as a weapon in armed conflict finally beyond the pale, States retained the right – to a certain extent – to use it against their own citizens.

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