East Asia Summit to stress compliance with chemical weapons ban

Patricia Lourdes Viray - Philstar.com
East Asia Summit to stress compliance with chemical weapons ban

Thousands of police and soldiers stand at attention during a send off ceremony and deployment to provide security for next week's ASEAN Summit and other related summits which the country is hosting in Manila, Philippines Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017. ASEAN leaders and its Dialogue Partners such as the United States, Russia, China, Japan, South Korea, India, Turkey, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the European Council and U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres are attending the summit. AP/Bullit Marquez

MANILA, Philippines — Leaders of the East Asia Summit are set to call for the destruction and the non-proliferation of chemical weapons as they are set to meet in Manila, a draft statement shows.

In the draft statement, the leaders emphasized the importance of the prohibition of the development, production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons by each party to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

Since it was founded in 1997, the OPCW has verified the destruction of more than 96 percent of all chemical weapons declared by possessor states.

The EAS leaders lauded the Russian Federation for its "completed destruction of all its chemical weapon stockpiles."

On the other hand, the EAS slammed the chemical weapon incident in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia which led to the death of Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Without mentioning the name of Kim by name, the draft statement denounced the "chemical weapon incident involving nerve agent VX in Kuala Lumpur on 13 February 2017 that posed great risk to public safety and security."

The leaders also condemned the use of a sarin-like nerve agent in Syria on April 4 this year.

RELATED: Trial to begin in assassination of North Korea leader's brother | Nazi origins of lethal nerve gas believed to be used in Syria chemical attack

The EAS called on all countries to comply with the United Nations sanctions imposed on North Korea following its shipment of chemical weapons to Syria.

The draft statement further condemned "other instances of the use of toxic chemicals weapons and precursors... and call on all States to fully enforce the total prohibition of the development, production, acquisition, stockpiling, retention, transfer or use of chemical weapons in respect of natural or legal persons within their jurisdiction."

The EAS is composed of the heads of state of the member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Russia and the United States.

In the draft statement, the leaders affirmed that "the EAS, with ASEAN as the driving force, will continue to be a Leaders-led forum for dialogue on broad strategic, political and economic issues of common interest and concern with the aim of promoting peace, stability and economic prosperity in East Asia.

The leaders reaffirmed that those who use toxic chemicals as weapons should be held accountable.

RELATED: US prepares Filipino troops against chemical attack

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