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Chemical Weapons

At this writing 140 states had ratified or acceded to the 1993 Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling, and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction (Chemical Weapons Convention, CWC). The most notable addition in 2000 was the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which acceded in April. Thirty-four states had signed the treaty but not yet ratified it. While many states parties failed to comply with all aspects of the CWC's timetables, as of May 2000 all had submitted their initial declarations to the Secretariat of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the body overseeing the implementation of the CWC. However, well under a half of the states parties had enacted national legislation required by the CWC. In addition, Russia had to ask the Fifth Conference of States Parties to extend the April 2000 intermediate destruction deadline (for the destruction of 1 percent of its chemical warfare munitions stockpile) mandated in the CWC. The OPCW had conducted 739 inspections of 352 sites in thirty-five states parties by May 2000. By the third year after entry into force of the CWC on April 29, 2000, non-states parties to the CWC could no longer import, or were severely restricted in importing, certain chemicals that could be used to synthesize chemical warfare agents.

In an exception to this progress, the Iraqi government continued to reject cooperation with the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC), the successor of the U.N. Special Commission (UNSCOM). UNMOVIC, charged with inspecting Iraq's weapons of mass destruction (WMD), was again denied access in August, amplifying concerns that Iraq was seeking to revive its WMD programs. An examination of available information and materials (primarily soil samples) by British, U.N., and other officials in response to claims that the government of Sudan had used chemical weapons in southern Sudan in 1999 found no concrete evidence to support the allegations.

Biological Weapons

As of October 2000, 144 states had ratified the 1972 Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Stockpiling, and Use of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction (Biological Weapons Convention, BWC), while eighteen states had signed but not yet ratified. Negotiations continued on a legally binding protocol to improve implementation of the treaty. An ad hoc group charged with developing verification mechanisms, which began negotiating a draft compliance protocol in 1997, found broad agreement on many key issues. However, several issues remained unresolved after the group's July/August meeting, including definitions of which facilities should be required to submit declarations, the scope and purpose of visits, and procedures for launching and conducting investigations. The ad hoc group hoped to finalize the text of the protocol before the fifth review conference of the BWC in 2001.

Human Rights Watch World Report 2000

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