An important challenge to global security and sustainability in the post-Cold War period relates to the large stockpiles of deadly chemical weapons which remained. The United States and Soviet Union bilaterally agreed in the late 1980s to eliminate their chemical weapons stockpiles of 28,600 and 40,000 metric tons, respectively. And the establishment of the international Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), which opened for signature in 1994 and entered into force in 1997, has provided a legal and verified basis for the abolition of chemical weapons globally.
Green Cross has been active since the mid-1990s in helping facilitate the safe and sound demilitarization of both Russian and US chemical weapons stockpiles by promoting transparency, stakeholder and community involvement, and public health and environmental protection. We have established and managed over a dozen local and regional outreach and information offices at former top secret Russian chemical weapons stockpiles, and have organized annual international dialogues on the complexities and challenges of chemical agent destruction.
Partly due to Green Cross efforts, today CW stockpiles have been eliminated in three countries – Albania, India, and South Korea; partially eliminated in three other countries – Libya, Russia, and the US; and destruction will begin in a seventh country, Iraq, in the near future. Out of over 71,000 metric tons declared in these seven countries, over 50,000 metric tons have been safely destroyed.