Ban pays tribute to Syria chemical warfare victims on Day of RemembranceListen /
The use of chemical weapons in Syria was a deplorable offense against humanity, according to the UN Secretary-General.
On the annual Day of Remembrance for Victims of Chemical Warfare observed 29 April, Mr. Ban Ki-moon paid tribute to the victims of these weapons.
He deplored that the horrific use of chemical weapons in Syria in 2013 cast a shadow over this year's commemoration.
The Secretary-General said he could not forget the deeply shocking images he saw in Syria.
He hailed the multinational effort to rid Syria of its chemical weapons programme and said it showed what can be done when the international community comes together.
Although there is still more to do, said Ban, 90 per cent of Syria's chemical weapons have now been either removed or destroyed.
He seized the opportunity to reiterate that any use of chemical weapons under any circumstances would be a grave violation of the 1925 Protocol and other relevant rules of customary international law.
Mr Ban also called on the six countries that remain outside the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention to "adhere without delay".
They are Angola, Egypt, Israel, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Myanmar and South Sudan.
Only until membership is universal and the last stockpiles of chemical weapons are destroyed, concluded Mr Ban, can the threat of chemical weapons be put to rest.
Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.