On 22 July 2016, the United Nations Security Council at UN headquarters in New York endorsed this decision and authorised urgent action.
Both UN Security Council resolution 2298 (2016) and the OPCW Executive Council decision recognised the extraordinary security and environmental challenges associated with these chemicals, which can be used by industry. As pre-cursors for chemical weapons, their removal and verified destruction guarantees they do not fall into the hands of non-State actors.
In August 2016, the OPCW facilitated and coordinated assistance among contributing countries to support the timely destruction of Libya's remaining chemical weapons in the safest and most secure manner.
Canada, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Malta, New Zealand, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States contributed personnel, technical expertise, equipment and financial resources. Notably, Denmark provided maritime assets to transport the chemicals to Germany. The chemicals reached the GEKA facility, which had extensive experience in disposing the effluent from Syria’s neutralised chemical agents, at the beginning of September 2016.
The destruction of Libya’s remaining Category 2 chemical weapons in the GEKA facility brought the total amount of the Libyan Category 2 chemical weapons destroyed to 100 per cent. Libya had previously destroyed all of its Category 1 and 3 chemical weapons.
As the implementing body for the Chemical Weapons Convention, the OPCW oversees the global endeavour to permanently and verifiably eliminate chemical weapons. Since the Convention’s entry into force in 1997 – and with its 192 States Parties – it is the most successful disarmament treaty eliminating an entire class of weapons of mass destruction.
Over ninety-six per cent of all chemical weapon stockpiles declared by possessor States have been destroyed under OPCW verification. For its extensive efforts in eliminating chemical weapons, the OPCW received the 2013 Nobel Prize for Peace.