NEW DELHI: The British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has hailed the international community coming together to strengthen the global ban against chemical weapons use.
"The special session of the Conference of States Parties in The Hague on Wednesday agreed that the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) will immediately start work to help identify those responsible for chemical attacks in Syria. This is very important because it fills a crucial gap left when the United Nations Security Council was prevented from renewing its own investigation in November," a statement issued by the British High Commission read.
This initiative has been led by the UK, and championed by the Foreign Secretary, who spoke at the special session on Tuesday and personally lobbied Ministers from 25 countries as part of the diplomatic effort.
82 countries voted in support of the proposal, tabled by the UK at the Conference of States Parties.
"Chemical weapons are an affront to human dignity and have no place in the 21st century. The international community has quite rightly come together today to strengthen the ban on chemical weapons and prevent impunity for their use," Johnson said.
"The UK has led the diplomatic efforts to secure this action. We look forward to working with all countries who are members of the Chemical Weapons Convention to implement the decisions taken today, and we will continue to push back on any efforts to undermine the ban on these vile weapons," he added.
According to the statement following Wednesday's vote, the OPCW's work to uphold the ban on chemical weapons has been enhanced. It can now support countries in meeting their obligations to uphold the chemical weapons convention.