White House Statement on
the Conference on Chemical Weapons Use
October 21, 1988
Ambassador to the Conference on Disarmament Pierre Morel announced yesterday to
the United Nations First Committee in New York that France will host the
Conference on Chemical Weapons Use in Paris from January
7 to 11, 1989.
The Conference is aimed at focusing worldwide attention on the problems of
chemical weapons use and proliferation, and helping to put a stop to the
abhorrent illegal use of these weapons.
Reagan proposed such a conference in his speech at the U.N. on September 26,
calling on all concerned nations to consider actions we might take together to
reverse the erosion of respect for the existing norms against the illegal use
of chemical weapons. Recent expressions of support for the idea of holding this
Conference by nations from various regions indicate that many others share our
concern. We hope that nations attending the Conference will reaffirm their
political commitment to comply with existing prohibitions on chemical weapons
use. We also invite those nations which have not done so to adhere to the 1925 Geneva protocol. The purpose
of the Conference is neither to change the Geneva protocol in any way nor
to single out any country for its previous actions.
United States remains committed to
the negotiation of a comprehensive, effectively verifiable, and truly global
ban on chemical weapons. Such a ban would be the best solution to the threat
posed by illegal chemical weapons use and proliferation. We hope the
participants in the Conference will express their support for the continuing
negotiations for a ban at the 40-nation Geneva Conference on Disarmament.
United States welcomes the action by
the Government of France to host the Conference and will make every effort to
ensure that it succeeds. Secretary of State Shultz will lead the U.S. delegation to the