Coalition of NGOs urges government to act to fix responsibility for chemical attacks

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While Chemical weapons have been reportedly used in Syria and nerve agent attacks have been reported from the UK and Malaysia, a coalition of 21 human rights and humanitarian groups have called on the governments to strengthen their global ban and assign responsibility for the violations.

This comes in the wake of a Special meeting that Members of the 1992 Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) is to hold on June 26 at The Hague with an aim to strengthen the global treaty, which bans the production, stockpiling, and use of chemical weapons.

The coalition said that the meeting should consider letting Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to attribute responsibility for chemical attacks in Syria and elsewhere.

Syria has witnessed over 85 confirmed chemical attacks since August 21, 2013, when the first such attack took place. At least 50 of them were by the Syrian government, says research by United Nations, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and other organizations.

“The June 26 meeting is an important opportunity for member countries to reaffirm their commitment to the Chemical Weapons Convention and strengthen it,” Sherine Tadros, head of the New York office of Amnesty International told HRW.

“Countries have an opportunity to act to prevent the unravelling of the ban on chemical weapons and make our world that much safer”, said Louis Charbonneau, UN director at Human Rights Watch.

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