New York, 30 November 2022 (TDI): The Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare is observed on 30th November. The purpose of the day is to give respect to those who have died as a result of chemical warfare.

Moreover, the day also reaffirms the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) commitment to eradicating the threat posed by chemical weapons and advancing multilateralism, peace, and security.

History of the Day

The UN officially recognized the annual “Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare” on April 29 in 2005. This day was chosen because the Chemical Weapons Convention entered into force on April 29.

However, the Conference of the States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention decided the new date for the observance as November 30 in 2015.

Chemical Weapons

A German chemist named Fritz Haber created the first chemical weapon in 1918. The use of Chemical Weapons started during world war I.

These weapons were just common munitions like grenades and artillery rounds that had well-known industrial chemicals added to them. Among the chemicals employed were chlorine, mustard gas, which causes terrible skin burns, and phosgene, a choking toxin.

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The outcomes were indiscriminate and frequently disastrous. The result was around 100,000 deaths. Chemical weapons have resulted in more than a million deaths worldwide since World War I.

Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) was established on April 29, 1997, during the Chemical Weapons Convention. Supporting and certifying the destruction of chemical weapons is the responsibility of the OPCW.

Furthermore, they also check for places that are used to make chemical weapons. The OPCW won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2013.

The destruction of chemical weapons stockpiles reached 68,000 metric tons as of 2017. The organization has been successful to demolish 90 chemical weapons facilities.