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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

African Union commends removal of chemical weapons in Libya
 

ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) -- The African Union (AU) on Tuesday released a statement congratulating on the successful removal of remaining chemical weapons in Libya.

The statement commends the efforts of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the Libyan authorities to realize the removal of the precursors chemicals on Aug. 27.

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the AU Commission, expressed her relief in the statement at the timely removal of the chemicals, “particularly in light of the current situation in the country and the risk that such material could fall into the hands of non-state actors and terrorist groups.”

She has also expressed thanks to the members of the international community that have provided technical expertise, operational support and financial resources.

Dlamini-Zuma underscored that the milestone demonstrates how the international community, through a strong partnership and a sense of collective responsibility, can work collaboratively and constructively in countering the risk of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. 

The Chairperson seized the opportunity to call on remaining states non-party to the Chemical Weapons Convention to join it without delay as a key step towards achieving a world free of weapons of mass destruction.

According to the statement, the 38th Ordinary Session of the Organization of African Unity, held in Durban in 2002, adopted a decision in which it expressed its commitment to, and called for the universality of, the Chemical Weapons Convention.

The AU Commission and the OPCW subsequently signed a memorandum of understanding in 2006 and have been working towards achieving the universality and full implementation of the convention in Africa.

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