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Warfare Threats

The utilisation of harmful chemicals as a weapon in combat was banned by the international community through the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling, and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction (Chemical Weapons Convention) of 1997.

The secretary general of the United Nations Dr Ban Ki-moon made a press statement wherein he emphatically discouraged Syria from using biological warfare against anti-government insurgents. The secretary general intimated that there would be dire consequences for Syria if it did not heed the call to refrain from using biological warfare, because chemical weapons have no place in the 21st Century. This article considers the irrelevance of  chemical weapons from an environmental perspective.

The threat posed by chemical and biological warfare on the environment is great, the problem stems particularly in the disposal of chemical weapons.

After World War II tons of chemical weapons were disposed into the world’s ocean space, the environmental damage of which cannot be gauged due to the “top-secret” status of the locations wherein many of these toxins were disposed. However, given the chemical composition of such weaponry, it is not unreasonable to conclude that these weapons pose a serious threat to marine life and the marine environment.

The secretary general touched on the relevance of chemical weapons in the 21st century. This point is quite valid, in that no civilised state in the international community should be developing weapons which are prohibited by all but eight countries of the world.

Furthermore, when the world is moving towards eliminating unnecessary harmful gases from the atmosphere due to climate change, the production of chemical weapons is irrelevant and should be outlawed in all countries.

Let the world keep watch of the situation in Syria, more than that, let Syria take heed of the admonition by the secretary general of the United Nations.

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