/ 8 October 2013

Sisulu calls on all countries to destroy chemical weapons

Sisulu Calls On All Countries To Destroy Chemical Weapons

The destruction of chemical weapons should be adhered to by all countries and not end with Syria, speaker of the national assembly Max Sisulu said on Tuesday.

"This is an opportunity for others who have not signed the UN convention to do so and those who are guilty of stockpiling to destroy such harmful weapons," Sisulu said in a speech prepared for delivery at the 129th Interparliamentary Union assembly in Switzerland.

The assembly discussed the role of parliaments around the world in supervising the ban on the use and destruction of chemical weapons.

The destruction of chemical weapons in Syria commenced this week, under the supervision by United Nations and watchdog, Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

Sisulu said South Africa was a signatory to the UN's Convention on Chemical Weapons. "We have said no to the production, proliferation, the use and to the stockpiling of nuclear and chemical weapons. We have … and we continue to support a total ban on nuclear and chemical weapons."

Syria's accession to the Convention on Chemical Weapons was welcomed. "The Syrian government's compliance with the first steps under the convention is encouraging."

He called on the UN Security Council to use its powers and focus on the humanitarian situation and the political crisis in Syria.

"We call on regional stakeholders to challenge those who seek to undermine the process underway."

"Side by side with our governments, parliaments must use their voice to raise awareness about the catastrophic consequences of the continued blood bath and use of chemical weapons." – Sapa