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Correction to Oral Answer

Volume 475: debated on Tuesday 29 April 2008

My noble Friend Lord Malloch-Brown has made the following written ministerial statement:

On 18 March 2008, during the debate on the Second Review Conference of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), in response to a question by the noble Lord Walton of Detchant, I said that—

“it is certainly correct that there are toxic chemicals that fall outside the so-called schedule 1 to this convention. One of the issues for review and for any successor convention after 2012 will be to make sure that there is a more comprehensive list of such chemicals”.—Official Report, column 136.

I should have said that the CWC’s prohibitions apply to all toxic chemicals and their precursors, unless they are intended for permitted purposes and provided they are of a type and in a quantity consistent with such purposes. The schedules of chemicals do not limit the scope of the convention’s prohibitions, they only provide a framework for the application of verification measures. Reinforcing the comprehensive nature of the CWC has been a key UK objective for the Second Review Conference, and the subject of one of the UK’s four working papers submitted to the preparatory working group. It has also been a priority for the EU as set out in the EU’s Common Position 2007/469/CFSP of 28 June 2007.

The CWC is a key component in the disarmament and non-proliferation agreements and regimes, and will remain so after the 2012 deadline for completion of destruction of chemical weapons stockpiles. We have already started to consider how the CWC will need to adapt to face future challenges and see this as a key issue to be addressed in the years ahead.