Biological and chemical weapons

  • Syria: Reports of Alleged Chemical Attack

    April 5, 2017

    4 April 2017 – United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres today said that he is “deeply disturbed” by reports of alleged use of chemical weapons in an airstrike in the Khan Shaykhun area of southern Idlib, Syria. In a statement from his spokesperson, the Secretary-General expressed heartfelt condolences to the victims of the incident and their families. He noted that the UN Security Council affirmed that the use of chemical weapons “constitutes a serious violation of international law” and runs counter to resolutions passed by the 15-member body.

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  • Interview Sigrid Kaag

    December 9, 2016

    This month, we have the honor of interviewing Ms. Sigrid Kaag, a top Dutch diplomat who currently serves as a United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon (UNSCOL). Last month, the Dutch Carnegie Foundation awarded Sigrid Kaag the Carnegie Wateler Peace Prize. Before the ceremony took place, we took the opportunity to interview Ms. Kaag to discuss her work at the UN, in particular, the succesful UN-OPCW joint mission Ms. Kaag led to eliminate the chemical weapons programme in Syria. We also discussed the role of international law in her daily work at the UN. Here’s what she had to say.

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  • Sigrid Kaag awarded Peace Prize

    December 6, 2016

    Ms. Sigrid Kaag, top diplomat who successfully led the OPCW-UN joint mission on the elimination of Syrian chemical weapons, received the Carnegie Wateler Peace Prize on 16 November 2016. The Carnegie Foundation, which owns and manages the Peace Palace, has awarded this peace prize to Ms. Kaag for her successful efforts in accomplishing sensitive and dangerous missions in the Middle-East.

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  • Peace & Security Salon on Biological and Chemical Weapons

    May 19, 2016

    What if a non-state actor like Daesh gets hold of a biological or chemical weapon? Why was the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in 2013? These and many more topics concerning current threats and future developments of biological and chemical weapons were discussed at the third Peace Palace Library Peace & Security Salon on May 11th.

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  • Peace and Security Salon on Biological and Chemical Weapons

    April 28, 2016

    The Peace Palace Library is pleased to invite you to our upcoming Peace and Security Salon on the 11th of May, with biological and chemical weapons as the theme of our evening. The Salon is part of a new lecture series of the Peace Palace Library on peace and security issues. The Salon will include lectures by several experts on the different aspects of biological and chemical weapons. The Salon will take place in an informal setting with room for discussion. The language will be English. Please note that the number of seats is limited and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Time: Wednesday 11 May 2016, 19.30-22.30 hrs (doors open at 18.30 hrs).

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  • Preventing Bioterrorism, Risk and Legal Instruments

    April 28, 2016

    According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention a bioterrorism attack is the deliberate release of viruses, bacteria, toxins or other harmful agents used to cause illness or death in people, animals, or plants. In both the popular imagination and among lawmakers and national security experts, there exists the belief that with sufficient motivation and material resources, terrorist groups can produce bioweapons easily, cheaply, and successfully. Some scholars disagree. Legal measures offer no guarantee for preventing bioterrorism, but nonetheless affect bioterrorism. What are the legal instruments addressing prevention?

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  • Peace and Security Salon Bio/Chemical Weapons

    March 17, 2016

    Biological and chemical weapons continue to form a threat to worldwide peace and security. On Wednesday 11 May the Peace Palace Library will organize a third Peace and Security Salon. During this event three speakers will provide different perspectives on the use of biological and chemical weapons. The speakers will also pay attention to possible threats and future developments concerning the use of these weapons. Whereas biological weapons consist of living microorganisms that can cause deadly infectious diseases, chemical weapons are manmade toxic chemicals. Efforts to ban these WMD have been made for over 100 years.

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  • Paardenmarkt: A Toxic Legacy of the Great War

    May 29, 2015

    Countries that in the past have chosen to take the easy way out by disposing their chemical warfare material by ocean dumping are now realizing the unpleasant fact that this material, although out of sight, is not out of mind because it presents threats to public health and the environment. Here, the example of one of the largest World War I ammunition dump sites in Europe, the Paardenmarkt, a narrow submerged sand-bank called off the coast of Belgium.

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  • A Nobel Prize for the OPCW's Work in Syria

    A Nobel Prize for the OPCW’s Work in Syria

    October 17, 2013

    Last Friday, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize of 2013 ‘for its extensive efforts to eliminate chemical weapons’. The OPCW is an intergovernmental organization which was created in 1997 to enforce the Chemical Weapons Convention. The OPCW has as its mission to dismantle all chemical weapons arsenals and to monitor and prevent the use of chemical substances as a means of warfare. Chemical weapons have been used since the early existance of mankind. There are many documented examples of the use of chemical weapons by our ancestors. The use of chemical weapons has been prohibited by international law.

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  • Poster against chemical weapons of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

    Fortunately this is not the only way to breathe

    September 6, 2013

    Poster against chemical weapons of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). Image: a mainly blue print depicting a girl with a gas mask.

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