Germany Announces Destruction of Remnants of Libya’s Chemical Weapons Programme

Since September 2016, Germany has helped to destroy the last stockpiles of chemicals from Libya’s former chemical weapons programme.

Destruction of the toxic chemicals was carried out in Munster by the state-owned company GEKA, which is responsible for disposing of chemical warfare agents (CWAs) and has long-standing expertise in this field.

Some 500 tonnes of dangerous dual-use chemicals were successfully destroyed in an environmentally safe manner over the past months, through a complicated procedure and under the supervision of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

The chemicals date back to the Gaddafi era and had to be disposed of in accordance with the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). The OPCW administers the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), which forbids the production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons and their precursors. The OPCW was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for its work in 2013.

To mark the milestone, a ceremony was held at GEKA in Munster, Lower Saxony, on 11 January 2018. It was attended by State Secretary Dr Suder (Federal Ministry of Defence), Ms Susanne Baumann, Deputy Federal Government Commissioner for Disarmament and Arms Control, and Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, Director-General of the OPCW, as well as by a Libyan high-level representative.

In 2016, Libya requested assistance from the international community for the destruction of these chemicals. In response to this request, both the OPCW and the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) decided to grant Libya the required assistance.

Germany and other OPCW member states had declared their willingness to assist Libya in a joint effort. The cost of destroying the stockpiles was covered by the United States and Germany.

Federal Foreign Office, Federal Republic of Germany

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