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– written and compiled by Tim Farnsworth
April 28: Nonproliferation Treaty Preparatory Committee Meeting, New York
From April 28 to May 9, the representatives of the states parties to the NPT will meet at UN headquarters in New York for their final preparatory meeting before the 2015 Review Conference. For a preview of the issues they will likely discuss and debate, see: “Rough Seas Ahead: Issues for the 2015 NPT Review Conference,” by Gaukhar Mukhatzhanova, in the April issue of Arms Control Today.
For statements and updates on the meeting, check the Reaching Critical Will Web site.
Deadline for Removal of Chemical Agents from Syria Approaches
Just this past week, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) announced that nearly 90% of all chemical weapons material in Syria has been removed from the country and loaded onto ships in Latakia, Syria for shipment to neutralization and destruction sites designated by the OPCW. Under a revised schedule, Syria is to complete the removal of its declared chemical arsenal by the end of this month.
Priority 1 chemicals will be delivered to the port of Gioia Tauro, Italy and then transferred to the specially-outfitted U.S. vessel, MV Cape Ray, for neutralization at sea. It is quite posssible that the remaining chemical stocks will be transported to Latakia sometime over the next week.
Unfortunately, Syria’s progress in removing its declared stockpile has been overshadowed by concerns that Syrian military units may be employing industrial chlorine canisters in air attacks in populated areas, which would be a clear violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention.
For more information about the removal of chemical weapons from Syria, see:
- “Timeline of Syrian Chemical Weapons Activity, 2012-2014,” Fact Sheet, Arms Control Association.
- “Syria Steps Up Removal of Chemicals,” by Daniel Horner, Arms Control Today, April 2014.
April 28: Russian-German-U.S. Commission to Release Report
The 21-member U.S.-Russian-German Deep Cuts Commission has formulated proposals to achieve further arms control and nuclear risk reduction to enhance national, Euro-Atlantic and international security. The first report, “Preparing for Deep Cuts: Options for Enhancing Euro-Atlantic and International Security,” will be released during a public event at 9:30am on Monday April 28 at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. Click here to RSVP.