In the Field: Global Green at CWD 2012

For the 15th consecutive year, the British Ministry of Defense will host its annual "CWD 2012" conference on chemical weapons destruction in Glasgow, Scotland, May 21 to 25, 2012. The five-day CWD 2012 conference on the abolition of chemical weapons brings together 250 or more experts, including government and non-government representatives and private contractors, from across the globe to discuss the 20-plus years of work to secure and destroy more than 72,000 metric tons and millions of munitions declared by seven possessor states under the auspices of the Chemical Weapons Convention. These important nonproliferation and disarmament efforts have been successful to date in safely eliminating more than 50,000 metric tons -- about 75% -- of the declared stockpiles of these old and very dangerous Cold War weapons of mass destruction. Smaller chemical weapons stockpiles in three countries -- Albania, India, and South Korea -- have been fully eliminated, while Russia still has 15,000 metric tons and the U.S. approximately 2,700 metric tons to go. Smaller amounts are also awaiting destruction in Iraq and Libya.

I will make two presentations on the important efforts of Green Cross/Global Green over the past 16 years to help facilitate the safe and irreversible destruction of these deadly stockpiles, including the ongoing need for full stakeholder involvement, transparency, and consensus-building in creating a world free of chemical weapons. Also emphasized: the need to address the widespread sea-dumping and land-burial of chemical weapons, and to bring in the remaining eight countries -- Angola, Egypt, Israel, Myanmar, North Korea, Somalia, South Sudan, and Syria -- into the Chemical Weapons Convention to make it truly universal.