Washington [US], December 1 (ANI): A global prohibition on chemical weapons to tools for law enforcement won the approval of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) on an 85-10 vote, the State Department said on Wednesday.
"This decision sends a clear signal that countries cannot hide their work to advance an offensive capability for the aerosolized use of central nervous system-acting chemicals under the guise of doing so for law enforcement," the US State Department said in a statementThe US, in collaboration with Australia, Switzerland, and 49 other countries, cosponsored the decision, which was adopted by a super majority with 85 in favor and only ten voting against the decision, the statement said.
"The danger posed by these chemicals was initially highlighted by their ill-considered use by Russia in 2002 to end the Moscow Theatre siege, which left 129 hostages dead," it added.
The US has long been concerned that some countries are concealing their offensive work related to central nervous system-acting chemicals, by citing an exemption for developing tools for law enforcement, the statement said.
"Today's decision seeks to prevent the use of these chemicals as chemical weapons and ensures that States Parties' shared understanding is clearly memorialized," State Department added.
It said the vote effectively ended the exemption. The 193-nation OPCW oversees a global effort to permanently and verifiably eliminate chemical weapons, according to State Department. (ANI)