Press release: Foreign Secretary delivers keynote speech at chemical weapons conference


War Hero
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson will deliver a keynote speech at a conference of an international partnership to fight against impunity for the use of chemical weapons in Paris today (May 18), hosted by French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian. The conference will bring together 33 like-minded countries, who are determined to preserve and strengthen the global ban on chemical weapons, including through strengthening the role of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

Ahead of the meeting, the Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said:

We have to confront the reality that chemical weapons have been used numerous times in recent years, in defiance of the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention. Asad’s brutality in Syria, and the attempted murders in Salisbury pose a grave threat to the Chemical Weapons Convention and to the rules based order that keeps us all safe.

We join our partners today in calling for a special session of Conference of States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention in June to agree action to support the Convention and its implementing body, the OPCW. Together, we will ensure that the global ban on chemical weapons and their use is upheld and enforced.

A Special Conference of the Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention in June would consider the very serious compliance challenges the convention currently faces. This Conference will send a clear signal of the global commitment to uphold the ban on the use of chemical weapons and consider what more can be done to strengthen the norm against chemical weapons use. It will also be an opportunity to look at ways of strengthening the OPCW.


To hold a Conference of States Parties requires the support of at least 64 States Parties.

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