Today, on 16 April 2018, Finland joined an international initiative aiming at holding accountable those responsible for the use of chemical weapons.
The use of chemical weapons is prohibited under the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and in customary international law. Over the past years, this absolute prohibition has been challenged in an unprecedented manner – most recently in Syria. The CWC, adopted by a total of 192 countries, has been repeatedly breached but those responsible have not been held to account. At present, the international community does not have any common mechanism in place to identify those involved in the use of chemical weapons, and the establishment of such a mechanism has not advanced in the United Nations Security Council.
The International Partnership against Impunity for the Use of Chemical Weapons, established in Paris on 23 January 2018, seeks to respond to this situation. The partnership aims to collect and share information helping to bring those responsible for the use of chemical weapons to justice, to support the implementation of sanctions related to the use of chemical weapons, and to serve as a forum for formulating common positions in the fight against the use and proliferation of chemical weapons.
So far, 25 countries from all continents have joined the initiative. For Finland, participation in the initiative is consistent with its longstanding active support of the CWC and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
"The use of chemical weapons is an abhorrent crime and prohibited in all circumstances. The perpetrators must be held accountable," says Minister for Foreign Affairs Timo Soini. "The international community cannot turn a blind eye to a situation where the use of these brutal weapons is becoming alarmingly commonplace. It is important that Finland is involved in combatting this threat with all available means."
More information: Mikael Långström, Counsellor, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, tel. +358 50 349 8352
The Foreign Ministry's email addresses are of the format email@example.com.