13 January 1993

The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) is signed.

Chemical Weapons Convention

Chemical Weapons Convention
CWC Participation.svg
Participation in the Chemical Weapons Convention
Drafted3 September 1992[1]
Signed13 January 1993[1]
LocationParis and New York[1]
Effective29 April 1997[1]
ConditionRatification by 65 states[2]
Signatories165[1]
Parties193[1] (List of state parties)
Four UN states are not party: Egypt, Israel, North Korea and South Sudan.
DepositaryUN Secretary-General[3]
LanguagesArabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish[4]

The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) is an arms control treaty that outlaws the production, stockpiling, and use of chemical weapons and their precursors. The full name of the treaty is the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction and it is administered by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), an intergovernmental organization based in The Hague, The Netherlands. The treaty entered into force on 29 April 1997. The Chemical Weapons Convention prohibits the large-scale use, development, production, stockpiling and transfer of chemical weapons. Very limited production for research, medical, pharmaceutical or protective purposes is still permitted. The main obligation of member states under the convention is to effect this prohibition, as well as the destruction of all current chemical weapons. All destruction activities must take place under OPCW verification.

As of May 2018, 193 states have become parties to the CWC and accept its obligations. Israel has signed but not ratified the agreement, while three other UN member states (Egypt, North Korea and South Sudan) have neither signed nor acceded to the treaty.[1][5] Most recently, the State of Palestine deposited its instrument of accession to the CWC on 17 May 2018. In September 2013 Syria acceded to the convention as part of an agreement for the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons.[6][7]

As of November 2018, 96.62% of the world's declared chemical weapons stockpiles had been destroyed.[8] The convention has provisions for systematic evaluation of chemical production facilities, as well as for investigations of allegations of use and production of chemical weapons based on intelligence of other state parties.

Some chemicals which have been used extensively in warfare but have numerous large-scale industrial uses such as phosgene are highly regulated, however, certain notable exceptions exist. Chlorine gas is highly toxic, but being a pure element and extremely widely used for peaceful purposes, is not officially listed as a chemical weapon. Certain state-powers (e.g. the Assad regime of Syria) continue to regularly manufacture and implement such chemicals in combat munitions.[9] Although these chemicals are not specifically listed as controlled by the CWC, the use of any toxic chemical as a weapon (when used to produce fatalities solely or mainly through its toxic action) is in-and-of itself forbidden by the treaty. Other chemicals, such as white phosphorus, are highly toxic but are legal under the CWC when they are used by military forces for reasons other than their toxicity.

History

Intergovernmental consideration of a chemical and biological weapons ban was initiated in 1968 within the 18-nation Disarmament Committee, which, after numerous changes of name and composition, became the Conference on Disarmament (CD) in 1984.[10] On 3 September 1992 the Conference on Disarmament submitted to the U.N. General Assembly its annual report, which contained the text of the Chemical Weapons Convention. The General Assembly approved the Convention on 30 November 1992, and the U.N. Secretary-General then opened the Convention for signature in Paris on 13 January 1993. The CWC remained open for signature until its entry into force on 29 April 1997, 180 days after the deposit of the 65th instrument of ratification (by Hungary). The convention augments the Geneva Protocol of 1925 for chemical weapons and includes extensive verification measures such as on-site inspections. It does not, however, cover biological weapons.

Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)

Headquarters in The Hague

The convention is administered by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which acts as the legal platform for specification of the CWC provisions.[11] The Conference of the States Parties is mandated to change the CWC and pass regulations on implementation of CWC requirements. The Technical Secretariat of the organization conducts inspections to ensure compliance of member states. These inspections target destruction facilities (where permanent monitoring takes place during destruction), chemical weapons production facilities which have been dismantled or converted for civil use, as well as inspections of the chemical industry. The Secretariat may furthermore conduct "investigations of alleged use" of chemical weapons and give assistance after use of chemical weapons.

The 2013 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the organization because it had, with the Chemical Weapons Convention, "defined the use of chemical weapons as a taboo under international law" according to Thorbjørn Jagland, Chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee.[12][13]

Key points of the Convention

  • Prohibition of production and use of chemical weapons
  • Destruction (or monitored conversion to other functions) of chemical weapons production facilities
  • Destruction of all chemical weapons (including chemical weapons abandoned outside the state parties territory)
  • Assistance between State Parties and the OPCW in the case of use of chemical weapons
  • An OPCW inspection regime for the production of chemicals which might be converted to chemical weapons
  • International cooperation in the peaceful use of chemistry in relevant areas

Controlled substances

The convention distinguishes three classes of controlled substance,[14][15] chemicals that can either be used as weapons themselves or used in the manufacture of weapons. The classification is based on the quantities of the substance produced commercially for legitimate purposes. Each class is split into Part A, which are chemicals that can be used directly as weapons, and Part B, which are chemicals useful in the manufacture of chemical weapons. Separate from the precursors, the convention defines toxic chemicals as "[a]ny chemical which through its chemical action on life processes can cause death, temporary incapacitation or permanent harm to humans or animals. This includes all such chemicals, regardless of their origin or of their method of production, and regardless of whether they are produced in facilities, in munitions or elsewhere."[16]

  • Schedule 1 chemicals have few, or no uses outside chemical weapons. These may be produced or used for research, medical, pharmaceutical or chemical weapon defence testing purposes but production at sites producing more than 100 grams per year must be declared to the OPCW. A country is limited to possessing a maximum of 1 tonne of these materials. Examples are sulfur mustard and nerve agents, and substances which are solely used as precursor chemicals in their manufacture. A few of these chemicals have very small scale non-military applications, for example milligram quantities of nitrogen mustard are used to treat certain cancers.
  • Schedule 2 chemicals have legitimate small-scale applications. Manufacture must be declared and there are restrictions on export to countries that are not CWC signatories. An example is thiodiglycol which can be used in the manufacture of mustard agents, but is also used as a solvent in inks.
  • Schedule 3 chemicals have large-scale uses apart from chemical weapons. Plants which manufacture more than 30 tonnes per year must be declared and can be inspected, and there are restrictions on export to countries which are not CWC signatories. Examples of these substances are phosgene (the most lethal chemical weapon employed in WWI),[17] which has been used as a chemical weapon but which is also a precursor in the manufacture of many legitimate organic compounds (e.g. pharmaceutical agents and many common pesticides), and triethanolamine, used in the manufacture of nitrogen mustard but also commonly used in toiletries and detergents.

A treaty party may declare a "single small-scale facility" that produces up to 1 tonne of Schedule 1 chemicals for research, medical, pharmaceutical or protective purposes each year, and also another facility may produce 10 kg per year for protective testing purposes. An unlimited number of other facilities may produce Schedule 1 chemicals, subject to a total 10 kg annual limit, for research, medical or pharmaceutical purposes, but any facility producing more than 100 grams must be declared.[14][18]

The treaty also deals with carbon compounds called in the treaty "discrete organic chemicals", the majority of which exhibit moderate-high direct toxicity or can be readily converted into compounds with toxicity sufficient for practical use as a chemical weapon.[19] These are any carbon compounds apart from long chain polymers, oxides, sulfides and metal carbonates, such as organophosphates. The OPCW must be informed of, and can inspect, any plant producing (or expecting to produce) more than 200 tonnes per year, or 30 tonnes if the chemical contains phosphorus, sulfur or fluorine, unless the plant solely produces explosives or hydrocarbons.

Member states

Before the CWC came into force in 1997, 165 states signed the convention, allowing them to ratify the agreement after obtaining domestic approval.[1] Following the treaty's entry into force, it was closed for signature and the only method for non-signatory states to become a party was through accession. As of May 2018, 193 states, representing over 98 percent of the world's population, are party to the CWC.[1] Of the four United Nations member states that are not parties to the treaty, Israel has signed but not ratified the treaty, while Egypt, North Korea, and South Sudan have neither signed nor acceded to the Convention. Taiwan, though not a member state, has confirmed that it complies with the treaty.[20]

Key organizations of member states

Member states are represented at the OPCW by their Permanent Representative. This function is generally combined with the function of Ambassador. For the preparation of OPCW inspections and preparation of declarations, member states have to constitute a National Authority.

World stockpile of chemical weapons

A total of 72,304 metric tonnes of chemical agent, and 97 production facilities have been declared to OPCW.[8]

Treaty deadlines

The treaty set up several steps with deadlines toward complete destruction of chemical weapons, with a procedure for requesting deadline extensions. No country reached total elimination by the original treaty date although several have finished under allowed extensions.[21]

Reduction Phases
Phase % Reduction Deadline Notes
I 1% April 2000  
II 20% April 2002 Complete destruction of empty munitions, precursor chemicals,
filling equipment and weapons systems
III 45% April 2004  
IV 100% April 2007 No extensions permitted past April 2012

Progress of destruction

As of October 2017, 69,610 of 72,304 (96.27%) metric tonnes of chemical agent have been verifiably destroyed. More than 57% (4.97 million) of chemical munitions and containers have been destroyed.[22]

Seven State Parties, namely Albania, an unspecified state party (believed to be South Korea), India, Iraq, Libya, Russia and Syria have completed the destruction of their declared stockpiles. The United States is in the process of destruction and scheduled to complete in 2023.[23] The destruction of Libya's Category 1 chemical weapons was completed in 2014; destruction of its chemical weapon precursors was completed in November 2017.[24][25]

Japan and China in October 2010 began the destruction of World War II era chemical weapons abandoned by Japan in China by means of mobile destruction units and reported destruction of 35,203 chemical weapons (75% of the Nanjing stockpile).[23][26]

Country Date of accession/
entry into force
Declared stockpile
(Schedule 1) (tonnes)
% OPCW-verified destroyed
(date of full destruction)
Destruction
deadline
Albania Albania 29 April 1997 17[27] 100% (July 2007)[27]
South Korea South Korea 29 April 1997 3,000–3,500[28] 100% (July 2008)[28]
India India 29 April 1997 1,044[29] 100% (March 2009)[30]
Libya Libya 5 February 2004 25[31] 100% (January 2014)[31]
Syria Syria (government held) 14 October 2013[32] 1,040[33] 100% (August 2014)[33]
Russia Russia 5 December 1997 40,000[34] 100% (September 2017)[35]
United States United States 29 April 1997 33,600[36] 91%[36] 29 April 2012 (intends by 2023)[37]
Iraq Iraq 12 February 2009 remnant munitions[38] 100% (March 2018)[39]
Japan Japan (in China) 29 April 1997 - ongoing 2022 (commitment)[40]

Iraqi stockpile

The U.N. Security Council ordered the dismantling of Iraq's chemical weapon stockpile in 1991. By 1998, UNSCOM inspectors had accounted for the destruction of 88,000 filled and unfilled chemical munitions, over 690 metric tons of weaponized and bulk chemical agents, approximately 4,000 tonnes of precursor chemicals, and 980 pieces of key production equipment.[41] The UNSCOM inspectors left in 1998.

In 2009, before Iraq joined the CWC, the OPCW reported that the United States military had destroyed almost 5,000 old chemical weapons in open-air detonations since 2004.[42] These weapons, produced before the 1991 Gulf War, contained sarin and mustard agents but were so badly corroded that they could not have been used as originally intended.[43]

When Iraq joined the CWC in 2009, it declared "two bunkers with filled and unfilled chemical weapons munitions, some precursors, as well as five former chemical weapons production facilities" according to OPCW Director General Rogelio Pfirter.[30] The bunker entrances were sealed with 1.5 meters of reinforced concrete in 1994 under UNSCOM supervision.[44] As of 2012, the plan to destroy the chemical weapons was still being developed, in the face of significant difficulties.[38][44] In 2014, ISIS took control of the site.[45]

On 13 March 2018, the Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, congratulated the Government of Iraq on the completion of the destruction of the country's chemical weapons remnants.[39]

Syrian destruction

Following the August 2013 Ghouta chemical attack,[46] Syria, which had long been suspected of possessing chemical weapons, acknowledged them in September 2013 and agreed to put them under international supervision.[47] On 14 September Syria deposited its instrument of accession to the CWC with the United Nations as the depositary and agreed to its provisional application pending entry into force effective 14 October.[48][49] An accelerated destruction schedule was devised by Russia and the United States on 14 September,[50] and was endorsed by United Nations Security Council Resolution 2118[51] and the OPCW Executive Council Decision EC-M-33/DEC.1.[52] Their deadline for destruction was the first half of 2014.[52] Syria gave the OPCW an inventory of its chemical weapons arsenal[53] and began its destruction in October 2013, 2 weeks before its formal entry into force, while applying the convention provisionally.[54][55] All declared Category 1 materials were destroyed by August 2014.[33] However, the Khan Shaykhun chemical attack in April 2017 indicated that undeclared stockpiles probably remained in the country. A chemical attack on Douma occurred on 7 April 2018 that killed at least 49 civilians with scores injured, and which has been blamed on the Assad government.[56][57][58]

Controversy arose in November 2019 over the OPCW’s finding on the Douma chemical weapons attack when Wikileaks published emails by an OPCW staff member saying a report on this incident “misrepresents the facts” and contains “unintended bias.” The OPCW staff member questioned the report’s finding that OPCW’s inspectors had “sufficient evidence at this time to determine that chlorine, or another reactive chlorine-containing chemical, was likely released from cylinders.”[59] The staff member alleged this finding was “highly misleading and not supported by the facts” and said he would attach his own differing observations if this version of the report was released. On November 25, 2019, OPCW Director General Fernando Arias, in a speech to the OPCW’s annual conference in The Hague, defended the Organization’s report on the Douma incident, stating “While some of these diverse views continue to circulate in some public discussion forums, I would like to reiterate that I stand by the independent, professional conclusion" of the probe.[60]

Financial support for destruction

Financial support for the Albanian and Libyan stockpile destruction programmes was provided by the United States. Russia received support from a number of countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and Canada; with some $2 billion given by 2004. Costs for Albania's program were approximately US$48 million. The United States has spent $20 billion and expected to spend a further $40 billion.[61]

Known chemical weapons production facilities

Fourteen states parties have declared chemical weapons production facilities (CWPFs):[22][62]

  • 1 non-disclosed state party (referred to as "A State Party" in OPCW-communications; said to be South Korea)[63]

As of October 2017, all 97 declared production facilities had been deactivated and 91 have been certified as either destroyed (68) or converted (23) to civilian use.[22]

See also

Related international law

  • Australia Group of countries and the European Commission that helps member nations identify exports which need to be controlled so as not to contribute to the spread of chemical and biological weapons
  • 1990 US-Soviet Arms Control Agreement
  • General-purpose criterion, a concept in international law that broadly governs international agreements with respect to chemical weapons
  • Geneva Protocol, a treaty prohibiting the first use of chemical and biological weapons

Worldwide treaties for other types of arms

Chemical weapons

Related remembrance day

References

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  2. ^ Chemical Weapons Convention, Article 21.
  3. ^ Chemical Weapons Convention, Article 23.
  4. ^ Chemical Weapons Convention, Article 24.
  5. ^ "Angola Joins the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons". OPCW. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  6. ^ "Resolution 2118 (2013)" (doc). United Nations documents. United nations. 27 September 2013. p. 1. Retrieved 28 April 2017. Noting that on 14 September 2013, the Syrian Arab Republic deposited with the Secretary-General its instrument of accession to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction (Convention) and declared that it shall comply with its stipulations and observe them faithfully and sincerely, applying the Convention provisionally pending its entry into force for the Syrian Arab Republic
  7. ^ "U.S. sanctions Syrian officials for chemical weapons attacks". Reuters. 12 January 2017. Retrieved 28 April 2017.
  8. ^ a b "OPCW by the Numbers". OPCW. Retrieved 31 January 2019.
  9. ^ "Third report of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons United Nations Joint Investigative Mechanism". 24 August 2016.
  10. ^ The 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention, THE HARVARD SUSSEX PROGRAM ON CBW ARMAMENT AND ARMS LIMITATION
  11. ^ The Intersection of Science and Chemical Disarmament, Beatrice Maneshi and Jonathan E. Forman, Science & Diplomacy, 21 September 2015.
  12. ^ "Syria chemical weapons monitors win Nobel Peace Prize". BBC News. 11 October 2013. Retrieved 12 October 2013.
  13. ^ "Official press release from Nobel prize Committee". Nobel Prize Organization. 11 October 2013. Retrieved 11 October 2013.
  14. ^ a b "Monitoring Chemicals with Possible Chemical Weapons Applications" (PDF). Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. 7 December 2014. Fact sheet 7. Retrieved 18 March 2018.
  15. ^ "Annex on Chemicals".
  16. ^ "CWC Article II. Definitions and Criteria". Chemical Weapons Convention. Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. Retrieved 7 September 2013.
  17. ^ "CDC Facts about Phosgene". Retrieved 13 April 2017.
  18. ^ Jean Pascal Zanders, John Hart, Richard Guthrie (October 2003). Non-Compliance with the Chemical Weapons Convention - Lessons from and for Iraq (PDF) (Report). Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. p. 45. Policy Paper No. 5. Retrieved 14 March 2018.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  19. ^ "Chemical Weapons Convention".
  20. ^ "Taiwan fully supports Chemical Weapons Convention". BBC. 27 August 2002. Retrieved 6 October 2013.
  21. ^ "Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced that Russia is destroying its last supplies of chemical weapons": SOPHIE WILLAIMS, Russia destroys ALL chemical weapons and calls on AMERICA to do the same, Express, 27-9-2017.
  22. ^ a b c "OPCW chief announces destruction of over 96% of chemical weapons in the world". Tass. Tass.
  23. ^ a b "Opening Statement by the Director-General to the Conference of the States Parties at its Sixteenth Session" (PDF). OPCW. 28 November 2011. Retrieved 1 May 2012.
  24. ^ Text by FRANCE 24. "Libya destroys last of Gaddafi's chemical weapons – France". France 24. Archived from the original on 5 February 2014. Retrieved 5 February 2014.
  25. ^ "OPCW Director-General Praises Complete Destruction of Libya's Chemical Weapon Stockpile". www.opcw.org. Retrieved 10 February 2018.
  26. ^ Executive Council 61, Decision 1. OPCW. 2010
  27. ^ a b "Albania the First Country to Destroy All Its Chemical Weapons". OPCW. 12 July 2007. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
  28. ^ a b Schneidmiller, Chris (17 October 2008). "South Korea Completes Chemical Weapons Disposal". Nuclear Threat Initiative. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
  29. ^ "India Country Profile – Chemical". Nuclear Threat Initiative. February 2015. Archived from the original on 4 April 2015. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
  30. ^ a b Schneidmiller, Chris (27 April 2009). "India Completes Chemical Weapons Disposal; Iraq Declares Stockpile". Nuclear Threat Initiative. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
  31. ^ a b "Libya Completes Destruction of Its Category 1 Chemical Weapons". OPCW. 4 February 2014.
  32. ^ Syria applied the convention provisionally from 14 September 2013
  33. ^ a b c "OPCW: All Category 1 Chemicals Declared by Syria Now Destroyed". OPCW. 28 August 2014. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
  34. ^ "Chemical Weapons Destruction". Government of Canada – Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada. 16 October 2012. Archived from the original on 18 May 2015. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
  35. ^ "OPCW Director-General Commends Major Milestone as Russia Completes Destruction of Chemical Weapons Stockpile under OPCW Verification". OPCW. 27 September 2017. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
  36. ^ a b Contreras, Evelio (17 March 2015). "U.S. to begin destroying its stockpile of chemical weapons in Pueblo, Colorado". CNN. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
  37. ^ Hughes, Trevor (25 April 2015). "780,000 chemical weapons being destroyed in Colo". USA TODAY. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
  38. ^ a b "Progress report on the preparation of the destruction plan for the al Muthanna bunkers" (PDF). OPCW. 1 May 2012. Retrieved 16 May 2015.
  39. ^ a b https://www.opcw.org/news/article/opcw-director-general-congratulates-iraq-on-complete-destruction-of-chemical-weapons-remnants/
  40. ^ http://www.opcw.org/fileadmin/OPCW/CSP/RC-3/national-statements/rc3nat20__e_.pdf
  41. ^ "Iraq Country Profile – Chemical". Nuclear Threat Initiative. April 2015. Archived from the original on 7 February 2015. Retrieved 16 May 2015.
  42. ^ Chivers, C.J. (22 November 2014). "Thousands of Iraq Chemical Weapons Destroyed in Open Air, Watchdog Says". New York Times. Retrieved 16 May 2015.
  43. ^ Shrader, Katherine (22 June 2006). "New Intel Report Reignites Iraq Arms Fight". Washington Post. Associated Press. Retrieved 16 May 2015.
  44. ^ a b Tucker, Jonathan B. (17 March 2010). "Iraq Faces Major Challenges in Destroying Its Legacy Chemical Weapons". James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies. Archived from the original on 29 March 2010. Retrieved 16 May 2015.
  45. ^ "Isis seizes former chemical weapons plant in Iraq". Guardian. Associated Press. 9 July 2014. Retrieved 16 May 2015.
  46. ^ Borger, Julian; Wintour, Patrick (9 September 2013). "Russia calls on Syria to hand over chemical weapons". Guardian. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  47. ^ Barnard, Anne (10 September 2013). "In Shift, Syrian Official Admits Government Has Chemical Arms". New York Times. Retrieved 13 September 2013.
  48. ^ "Depositary Norification" (PDF). United Nations. Retrieved 15 September 2013.
  49. ^ "Secretary-General Receives Letter from Syrian Government Informing Him President Has Signed Legislative Decree for Accession to Chemical Weapons Convention". United Nations. 12 September 2013.
  50. ^ Gordon, Michael R. (14 September 2013). "U.S. and Russia Reach Deal to Destroy Syria's Chemical Arms". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 September 2013.
  51. ^ Michael Corder (27 September 2013). "Syrian Chemical Arms Inspections Could Begin Soon". AP. Archived from the original on 20 October 2013. Retrieved 9 October 2013.
  52. ^ a b "Decision: Destruction of Syrian Chemical Weapons" (PDF). OPCW. 27 September 2013. Retrieved 28 September 2013.
  53. ^ BBC News, 6 October 2013. Syria chemical arms removal begins.
  54. ^ "Kerry 'very pleased' at Syria compliance over chemical weapons". NBC News. 7 October 2013. Retrieved 9 October 2013.
  55. ^ Mariam Karouny (6 October 2013). "Destruction of Syrian chemical weapons begins: mission". Reuters. Retrieved 8 October 2013.
  56. ^ Haley says Russia's hands are 'covered in the blood of Syrian children'
  57. ^ "Suspected Syria chemical attack kills 70". BBC News. 8 April 2018. Retrieved 8 April 2018.
  58. ^ "OPCW confirms chemical weapons use in Douma, Syria". DW. Agence France-Presse/Associated Press. 1 March 2019. Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  59. ^ Greg Norman (2019). "Syria watchdog accused of making misleading edits in report on chemical weapons attack". Foxnews.com. Retrieved 24 December 2019.
  60. ^ CBS/AFP (2019). "Chemical weapons watchdog OPCW defends Syria report as whistleblower claims bias". cbsnews.com. Retrieved 24 December 2019.
  61. ^ "Russia, U.S. face challenge on chemical weapons", Stephanie Nebehay, Reuters, 7 August 2007, accessed 7 August 2007
  62. ^ "Eliminating Chemical Weapons and Chemical Weapons Production Facilities" (PDF). Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. November 2017. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
  63. ^ "Confidentiality and verification: the IAEA and OPCW" (PDF). VERTIC. May–June 2004. Retrieved 3 December 2012.

External links

1 November 1993

The Maastricht Treaty takes effect, formally establishing the European Union.

Maastricht Treaty

Treaty on European Union
TypeFounding treaty
Signed7 February 1992 (1992-02-07)
LocationMaastricht, Netherlands
Effective1 November 1993
AmendmentTreaty of Amsterdam (1999)
Treaty of Nice (2003)
Treaty of Lisbon (2009)
SignatoriesEU member states
Consolidated version of the Treaty on European Union at Wikisource
Flag of Europe.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
the European Union
Flag of Europe.svg European Union portal

The Maastricht Treaty (officially the Treaty on European Union) was signed on 7 February 1992 by the members of the European Communities in Maastricht, Netherlands, to further European integration.[1] On 9–10 December 1991, the same city hosted the European Council which drafted the treaty.[2] The treaty founded the European Union and established its pillar structure which stayed in place until the Lisbon Treaty came into force in 2009. The treaty also greatly expanded the competences of the EEC/EU and led to the creation of the single European currency, the euro.

The Maastricht Treaty reformed and amended the treaties establishing the European Communities, the EU's first pillar. It renamed European Economic Community to European Community to reflect its expanded competences beyond economic matters. The Maastricht Treaty also created two new pillars of the EU on Common Foreign and Security Policy and Cooperation in the Fields of Justice and Home Affairs (respectively the second and third pillars), which replaced the former informal intergovernmental cooperation bodies named TREVI and European Political Cooperation on EU Foreign policy coordination.

The Maastricht Treaty (TEU) and all pre-existing treaties has subsequently been further amended by the treaties of Amsterdam (1997), Nice (2001) and Lisbon (2007). Today it is one of two treaties forming the constitutional basis of the European Union (EU), the other being the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

History

While the current version of the TEU entered into force in 2009, following the Treaty of Lisbon (2007), the older form of the same document was implemented by the Treaty of Maastricht (1992).

Signing

Stone memorial in front of the entry to the Limburg Province government building in Maastricht, Netherlands, commemorating the signing of the Maastricht Treaty

The signing of the Treaty of Maastricht took place in Maastricht, Netherlands, on 7 February 1992. The Dutch government, by virtue of holding Presidency of the Council of the European Union during the negotiations in the second half of 1991, arranged a ceremony inside the government buildings of the Limburg province on the river Maas (Meuse). Representatives from the twelve member states of the European Communities were present, and signed the treaty as plenipotentiaries, marking the conclusion of the period of negotiations.

Ratification

Only three countries held referendums (France, Denmark and Ireland – all required by their respective constitutions).[3] The process of ratifying the treaty was fraught with difficulties in three states. In Denmark, the first Danish Maastricht Treaty referendum was held on 2 June 1992 and ratification of the treaty was rejected by a margin of 50.7% to 49.3%.[4] Subsequently, alterations were made to the treaty through the addition of the Edinburgh Agreement which lists four Danish exceptions, and this treaty was ratified the following year on 18 May 1993 after a second referendum was held in Denmark,[5] with legal effect after the formally granted royal assent on 9 June 1993.[6]

In September 1992, a referendum in France only narrowly supported the ratification of the treaty, with 50.8% in favour. This narrow vote for ratification in France, known at the time as the 'petite oui', led Jacques Delors to comment that "Europe began as an elitist project in which it was believed that all that was required was to convince the decision-makers. That phase of benign despotism is over."[7] Uncertainty over the Danish and French referendums was one of the causes of the turmoil on the currency markets in September 1992, which led to the UK pound's expulsion from the Exchange Rate Mechanism.[citation needed]

In the United Kingdom, an opt-out from the treaty's social provisions was opposed in Parliament by the opposition Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs and the treaty itself by the Maastricht Rebels within the governing Conservative Party. The number of rebels exceeded the Conservative majority in the House of Commons, and thus the government of John Major came close to losing the confidence of the House.[8] In accordance with British constitutional convention, specifically that of parliamentary sovereignty, ratification in the UK was not subject to approval by referendum. Despite this, the British constitutional historian Vernon Bogdanor suggests that there was "a clear constitutional rationale for requiring a referendum" based on the allocation of legislative power.[9][10]

Entry into force

The TEU entered into force on 1 November 1993.

Amendments

Treaties amending the TEU:

Historical assessment

The treaty led to the creation of the euro. One of the obligations of the treaty for the members was to keep "sound fiscal policies, with debt limited to 60% of GDP and annual deficits no greater than 3% of GDP".[11] This obligation has not been met, with debt to GDP levels increasing steadily in most countries in eurozone since the treaty was signed with the average for the zone standing at 85%, and much higher for some countries, e.g. France, where debt to GDP ratios reached 98% in 2019, or Greece at 181%.[12]

The treaty also created what was commonly referred to as the pillar structure of the European Union.

The treaty established the three pillars of the European Union—one supranational pillar created from three European Communities (which included the European Economic Community (EEC), the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Atomic Energy Community), the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) pillar, and the Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) pillar. The first pillar was where the EU's supra-national institutions—the Commission, the European Parliament and the European Court of Justice—had the most power and influence. The other two pillars were essentially more intergovernmental in nature with decisions being made by committees composed of member states' politicians and officials.[13]

All three pillars were the extensions of existing policy structures. The European Community pillar was the continuation of the European Economic Community with the "Economic" being dropped from the name to represent the wider policy base given by the Maastricht Treaty. Coordination in foreign policy had taken place since the beginning of the 1970s under the name of European Political Cooperation (EPC), which had been first written into the treaties by the Single European Act but not as a part of the EEC. While the Justice and Home Affairs pillar extended cooperation in law enforcement, criminal justice, asylum, and immigration and judicial cooperation in civil matters, some of these areas had already been subject to intergovernmental cooperation under the Schengen Implementation Convention of 1990.

The creation of the pillar system was the result of the desire by many member states to extend the European Economic Community to the areas of foreign policy, military, criminal justice, and judicial cooperation. This desire was set off against the misgivings of other member states, notably the United Kingdom, over adding areas which they considered to be too sensitive to be managed by the supra-national mechanisms of the European Economic Community. The agreed compromise was that instead of renaming the European Economic Community as the European Union, the treaty would establish a legally separate European Union comprising the renamed European Economic Community, and the inter-governmental policy areas of foreign policy, military, criminal justice, judicial cooperation. The structure greatly limited the powers of the European Commission, the European Parliament and the European Court of Justice to influence the new intergovernmental policy areas, which were to be contained with the second and third pillars: foreign policy and military matters (the CFSP pillar) and criminal justice and cooperation in civil matters (the JHA pillar).

In addition, the treaty established the European Committee of the Regions (CoR). CoR is the European Union's (EU) assembly of local and regional representatives that provides sub-national authorities (i.e. regions, municipalities, cities, etc.) with a direct voice within the EU's institutional framework.

The Maastricht criteria

The Maastricht criteria (also known as the convergence criteria) are the criteria for European Union member states to enter the third stage of European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) and adopt the euro as their currency. The four criteria are defined in article 121 of the treaty establishing the European Community. They impose control over inflation, public debt and the public deficit, exchange rate stability and the convergence of interest rates.

1. Inflation rates: No more than 1.5 percentage points higher than the average of the three best performing (lowest inflation) member states of the EU.

2. Government finance:

Annual government deficit:
The ratio of the annual government deficit to gross domestic product (GDP) must not exceed 3% at the end of the preceding fiscal year. If not, it is at least required to reach a level close to 3%. Only exceptional and temporary excesses would be granted for exceptional cases.
Government debt:
The ratio of gross government debt to GDP must not exceed 60% at the end of the preceding fiscal year. Even if the target cannot be achieved due to the specific conditions, the ratio must have sufficiently diminished and must be approaching the reference value at a satisfactory pace. As of the end of 2014, of the countries in the Eurozone, only Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Luxembourg, and Finland still met this target.[14]

3. Exchange rate: Applicant countries should have joined the exchange-rate mechanism (ERM II) under the European Monetary System (EMS) for two consecutive years and should not have devalued its currency during the period.

4. Long-term interest rates: The nominal long-term interest rate must not be more than 2 percentage points higher than in the three lowest inflation member states.

The purpose of setting the criteria is to maintain price stability within the Eurozone even with the inclusion of new member states.[11]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ "1990–1999". The history of the European Union – 1990–1999. Europa. Retrieved 1 September 2011.
  2. ^ "1991". The EU at a glance – The History of the European Union. Europa. Archived from the original on 5 April 2009. Retrieved 9 April 2010.
  3. ^ Parsons, Craig (2006). A Certain Idea of Europe. Cornell University Press. p.202. ISBN 9780801440861
  4. ^ Havemann, Joel (4 June 1992). "EC Leaders at Sea Over Danish Rejection: Europe: Vote against Maastricht Treaty blocks the march to unity. Expansion plans may also be in jeopardy". LA Times. Retrieved 7 December 2011.
  5. ^ "In Depth: Maastricht Treaty". BBC News. 30 April 2001. Retrieved 4 May 2013.
  6. ^ "Lov om Danmarks tiltrædelse af Edinburgh-Afgørelsen og Maastricht-Traktaten (*1)" (in Danish). Retsinformation. 9 June 1993.
  7. ^ Anell, Lars (2014). Democracy in Europe – An essay on the real democratic problem in the European Union. p.23. Forum för EU-Debatt.
  8. ^ Goodwin, Stephen (23 July 1993). "The Maastricht Debate: Major 'driven to confidence factor': Commons Exchanges: Treaty issue 'cannot fester any longer'". The Independent. London. Retrieved 4 May 2013.
  9. ^ Bogdanor quotes John Locke's The Second Treatise of Government: "The Legislative cannot transfer the power of making laws to any other hands. For it being but a delegated power from the People, they who have it cannot pass it to others." Bogdanor, Vernon (8 June 1993). "Why the people should have a vote on Maastricht: The House of Lords must uphold democracy and insist on a referendum". The Independent.
  10. ^ Bogdanor, Vernon (26 July 1993). "Futility of a House with no windows". The Independent.
  11. ^ a b . Hubbard, Glenn and Tim Kane. (2013). Balance: The Economics of Great Powers From Ancient Rome to Modern America . Simon & Schuster. P. 204. ISBN 978-1-4767-0025-0
  12. ^ "General government gross debt - annual data (table code: teina225)". Eurostat. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  13. ^ "Treaties and law". European Union. Retrieved 7 December 2011.
  14. ^ "Eurostat – Tables, Graphs and Maps Interface (TGM) table". ec.europa.eu.

Further reading

  • Christiansen, Thomas; Duke, Simon; Kirchner, Emil (November 2012). "Understanding and assessing the Maastricht Treaty". Journal of European Integration. 34 (7): 685–698. doi:10.1080/07036337.2012.726009.
  • Smith, Michael (November 2012). "Still rooted in Maastricht: EU external relations as a 'third-generation hybrid'". Journal of European Integration. 34 (7): 699–715. doi:10.1080/07036337.2012.726010.
  • Monar, Jörg (November 2012). "Justice and Home Affairs: the treaty of Maastricht as a decisive intergovernmental gate opener". Journal of European Integration. 34 (7): 717–734. doi:10.1080/07036337.2012.726011.
  • Monar, Jörg (November 2012). "Twenty years of co-decision since Maastricht: inter- and intrainstitutional implications". Journal of European Integration. 34 (7): 735–751. doi:10.1080/07036337.2012.726012.
  • Wessels, Wolfgang (November 2012). "The Maastricht Treaty and the European Council: the history of an institutional evolution". Journal of European Integration. 34 (7): 753–767. doi:10.1080/07036337.2012.726013.
  • Caporaso, James A.; Kim, Min-hyung (November 2012). "The Maastricht Treaty at twenty: a Greco-European tragedy?". Journal of European Integration. 34 (7): 769–789. doi:10.1080/07036337.2012.726014.
  • Dyson, Kenneth (November 2012). "'Maastricht plus': managing the logic of inherent imperfections". Journal of European Integration. 34 (7): 791–808. doi:10.1080/07036337.2012.726015.
  • Kohler-Koch, Beate (November 2012). "Post-Maastricht civil society and participatory democracy". Journal of European Integration. 34 (7): 809–824. doi:10.1080/07036337.2012.726016.
  • Weiler, J.H.H. (November 2012). "In the face of crisis: input legitimacy, output legitimacy and the political Messianism of European integration". Journal of European Integration. 34 (7): 825–841. doi:10.1080/07036337.2012.726017.
  • Dinan, Desmond (November 2012). "The arc of institutional reform in post-Maastricht Treaty change". Journal of European Integration. 34 (7): 843–858. doi:10.1080/07036337.2012.726018.

External links

Works related to Consolidated version of the Treaty on European Union at Wikisource

24 April 1993

An IRA bomb explodes in the Bishopsgate area of London.

A powerful bomb was planted in a stolen truck outside 99 Bishopsgate, exploding on Saturday 24 April 1993, killing one person and wounding another 44.

Today the City of London Police have released new images showing the extent of the damage caused by the bomb.

It destroyed a nearby church and severely damaged Liverpool Street Station and the NatWest Tower. It is estimated that the cleanup operation cost more than £350m.

Ed Henty, a photographer for News of the World, was killed after he rushed to the scene.

However it is thought that the number of fatalities would have been much higher if it had taken place on a weekday.

Following the incident, coming just a year after the bombing of the Baltic Exchange, the City of London Police implemented a ‘ring of steel’ in July 1993. Most routes into the City were closed or made exit-only, and the remaining routes had checkpoints manned by police officers 24 hours a day.

24 March 1993

The Comet Shoemaker–Levy 9 is first discovered.

In this striking image we see the comet fragments of Shoemaker-Levy 9.

Comet Shoemaker–Levy 9 was a comet that broke apart in July 1992 and collided with Jupiter in July 1994, providing the first direct observation of an extraterrestrial collision of Solar System objects. This generated a large amount of coverage in the popular media, and the comet was closely observed by astronomers worldwide. The collision provided new information about Jupiter and highlighted its possible role in reducing space debris in the inner Solar System.

The comet was discovered by astronomers Carolyn and Eugene M. Shoemaker and David Levy in 1993. Shoemaker–Levy 9 had been captured by Jupiter and was orbiting the planet at the time. It was located on the night of March 24 in a photograph taken with the 46 cm Schmidt telescope at the Palomar Observatory in California. It was the first comet observed to be orbiting a planet, and had probably been captured by Jupiter around 20–30 years earlier.

Calculations showed that its unusual fragmented form was due to a previous closer approach to Jupiter in July 1992. At that time, the orbit of Shoemaker–Levy 9 passed within Jupiter’s Roche limit, and Jupiter’s tidal forces had acted to pull apart the comet. The comet was later observed as a series of fragments ranging up to 2 km in diameter. These fragments collided with Jupiter’s southern hemisphere between July 16 and 22, 1994 at a speed of approximately 60 km/s or 216,000 km/h. The prominent scars from the impacts were more easily visible than the Great Red Spot and persisted for many months.

While conducting a program of observations designed to uncover near-Earth objects, the Shoemakers and Levy discovered Comet Shoemaker–Levy 9 on the night of March 24, 1993 in a photograph taken with the 0.46 m Schmidt telescope at the Palomar Observatory in California. The comet was thus a serendipitous discovery, but one that quickly overshadowed the results from their main observing program.

Comet Shoemaker–Levy 9 was the ninth periodic comet discovered by the Shoemakers and Levy, hence its name. It was their eleventh comet discovery overall including their discovery of two non-periodic comets, which use a different nomenclature. The discovery was announced in IAU Circular 5725 on March 27, 1993.

The discovery image gave the first hint that comet Shoemaker–Levy 9 was an unusual comet, as it appeared to show multiple nuclei in an elongated region about 50 arcseconds long and 10 arcseconds wide. Brian G. Marsden of the Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams noted that the comet lay only about 4 degrees from Jupiter as seen from Earth, and that although this could of course be a line of sight effect, its apparent motion in the sky suggested that it was physically close to it. Because of this, he suggested that the Shoemakers and David Levy had discovered the fragments of a comet that had been disrupted by Jupiter’s gravity.

Orbital studies of the new comet soon revealed that it was orbiting Jupiter rather than the Sun, unlike all other comets known at the time. Its orbit around Jupiter was very loosely bound, with a period of about 2 years and an apoapsis of 0.33 astronomical units. Its orbit around the planet was highly eccentric.

Tracing back the comet’s orbital motion revealed that it had been orbiting Jupiter for some time. It is likely that it was captured from a solar orbit in the early 1970s, although the capture may have occurred as early as the mid-1960s. Several other observers found images of the comet in precovery images obtained before March 24, including Kin Endate from a photograph exposed on March 15, S. Otomo on March 17, and a team led by Eleanor Helin from images on March 19. No precovery images dating back to earlier than March 1993 have been found. Before the comet was captured by Jupiter, it was probably a short-period comet with an aphelion just inside Jupiter’s orbit, and a perihelion interior to the asteroid belt.

The volume of space within which an object can be said to orbit Jupiter is defined by Jupiter’s Hill sphere. When the comet passed Jupiter in the late 1960s or early 1970s, it happened to be near its aphelion, and found itself slightly within Jupiter’s Hill sphere. Jupiter’s gravity nudged the comet towards it. Because the comet’s motion with respect to Jupiter was very small, it fell almost straight toward Jupiter, which is why it ended up on a Jove-centric orbit of very high eccentricity—that is to say, the ellipse was nearly flattened out.

The comet had apparently passed extremely close to Jupiter on July 7, 1992, just over 40,000 km above its cloud tops—a smaller distance than Jupiter’s radius of 70,000 km, and well within the orbit of Jupiter’s innermost moon Metis and the planet’s Roche limit, inside which tidal forces are strong enough to disrupt a body held together only by gravity. Although the comet had approached Jupiter closely before, the July 7 encounter seemed to be by far the closest, and the fragmentation of the comet is thought to have occurred at this time. Each fragment of the comet was denoted by a letter of the alphabet, from “fragment A” through to “fragment W”, a practice already established from previously observed broken-up comets.

More exciting for planetary astronomers was that the best orbital calculations suggested that the comet would pass within 45,000 km of the center of Jupiter, a distance smaller than the planet’s radius, meaning that there was an extremely high probability that SL9 would collide with Jupiter in July 1994. Studies suggested that the train of nuclei would plow into Jupiter’s atmosphere over a period of about five days.

24 April 1993

An IRA bomb explodes in the Bishopsgate area of London.

The Bishopsgate bombing occurred on 24 April 1993, when the Provisional Irish Republican Army detonated a powerful truck bomb on Bishopsgate, a major thoroughfare in London’s financial district, the City of London. Telephoned warnings were sent about an hour beforehand, but a news photographer was killed in the blast and 44 people were injured, with fatalities only minimised due to it occurring on a Saturday. The blast destroyed the nearby St Ethelburga’s church and wrecked Liverpool Street station and the NatWest Tower. The financial cost was severe, estimated at the time to be over £1 billion of damage, making it the costliest terrorist attack at the time.

As a result of the bombing, which happened just over a year after the bombing of the nearby Baltic Exchange, a “ring of steel” was implemented to protect the City, and many firms introduced disaster recovery plans in case of further attacks or similar disasters. £350 million was spent on repairing damage. In 1994 detectives believed they know the identities of the IRA bombers, but lacked sufficient evidence to arrest them.

In March 1993, an Iveco tipper truck was stolen in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, and repainted from white to dark blue. A 1 tonne ANFO bomb made by the IRA’s South Armagh Brigade had been smuggled into England and was placed in the truck, hidden underneath a layer of tarmac. At about 9 am on 24 April, two volunteers from an IRA active service unit drove the truck containing the bomb onto Bishopsgate. They parked the truck outside 99 Bishopsgate, which was then the Hongkong and Shanghai Bank, located by the junction with Wormwood Street and Camomile Street, and left the area in a car driven by an accomplice. A series of telephone warnings were then sent from a phonebox in Forkhill, County Armagh, Northern Ireland, with the caller using a recognised IRA codeword and stating “a massive bomb… clear a wide area”. The first warnings were sent about one hour before the bomb detonated. Two police officers were already making inquiries into the truck when the warnings were received, and police began evacuating the area.

An Iveco tipper truck, the type used to carry the bomb
The bomb exploded at 10:27 am, causing extensive damage to buildings along a significant stretch of Bishopsgate. The blast raised a mushroom cloud that could be seen across much of London and gouged a 15-foot wide crater in the street. Buildings up to 500 metres away were damaged, with 1,500,000 sq ft of office space being affected and over 500 tonnes of glass broken. The NatWest Tower — at the time the City’s tallest skyscraper – was amongst the structures badly damaged, with many windows on the east side of the tower destroyed; the Daily Mail said “black gaps punched its fifty-two floors like a mouth full of bad teeth”. Damage extended as far north as Liverpool Street station and south beyond Threadneedle Street. St Ethelburga’s church, seven metres away from the bomb, collapsed as a result of the explosion. The cost of repair was estimated at the time at £1 billion. Civilian casualties were low as it was a Saturday morning and the City was typically occupied by only a small number of residents, office workers, security guards, builders, and maintenance staff. Forty-four people were injured by the bomb and News of the World photographer Ed Henty was killed after ignoring police warnings and rushing to the scene. The truck-bomb produced the explosive power of 1,200 kg of TNT.