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Chemical Weapons

Volume 176: debated on Wednesday 11 July 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress is being made through the chemical weapons convention in achieving a comprehensive and verifiable global ban on the production, possession and use of chemical weapons.

Some progress has been made recently on technical issues in the negotiations in Geneva for a comprehensive, effectively verifiable, global ban on chemical weapons, but some key issues remain to be resolved, particularly verification. I will be visiting Geneva tomorrow to present a report on the United Kingdom's extensive series of trial inspections over the last two years at a number of Government-owned establishments. The practical lessons and conclusions drawn will, I am sure, be a valuable input to the negotiations.


To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he has received any information relating to geological specimens purporting to confirm the use of chemical weapons in Angola; and if he will make a statement.

A number of soil and vegetation samples purported to be from Angola have been examined by Government experts. The samples have not been found to contain any traces which would indicate the use of chemical weapons.