IRRC No. 317

Chemical Weapons Convention enters into force

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The Convention on the prohibition of the development, production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons and on their destruction, of 13 January 1993 (Chemical Weapons Convention - CWC) enters into force on 29 April 1997, following the deposit by Hungary on 31 October 1996 of the 65th instrument of ratification. This landmark Convention complements and reinforces the 1925 Geneva Protocol prohibiting the use of chemical and biological weapons by also banning the development, production and stockpiling of chemical weapons — as well as their use — and requiring the destruction of existing stockpiles. The 1925 Geneva Protocol was adopted following a dramatic appeal against chemical warfare by the ICRC at the end of the First World War. The Biological Weapons Convention, in force since 1975, has outlawed the development, production and stockpiling of these weapons.

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