On July 22, the United Nations Security Council voted to authorize UN countries to aid Libya to eliminate its stockpile of chemicals that could be used to manufacture toxic weapons.
There are fears that the chemicals could fall into the hands of militants. The global chemical weapons watchdog, Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said that the chemicals that were precursors to weapons had been moved to a temporary storage site in the north of the country. The OPCW asked for help destroying the chemicals outside the country.
Gadaffi had agreed to dismantle his program of weapons of mass destruction including chemical weapons as of December 2003. The chemical weapons are already destroyed but precursor chemicals have still to be destroyed: "As of 2013, over 800 tons of chemical weapons ingredients remained to be destroyed. In February 2014, the Libyan government announced that it had finished destroying Libya's entire remaining stockpile of chemical weapons. Full destruction of chemical weapons ingredients is scheduled to be completed by 2016. "
As of now, there are roughly 700 tonnes of precursor chemicals left to destroy. The resolution, drafted by the UK, was unanimously adopted by the 15 members of the Security Council as it determined "that the potential for acquisition by non-State actors of chemical weapons in Libya represents a threat to international peace and security." Boris Johnson the British Foreign Secretary said that destroying the chemicals "reduced the risk of these weapons falling into the hands of terrorists and fanatics."
Vitaly Churkin, Russian ambassador to the UN agreed with Johnson and noted that there had been terrorist groups springing up in Libya. Churkin said: "There was an imminent threat of danger that these things would fall into terrorist hands. The examples of Syria and Iraq have demonstrated the topical nature of the problem of chemical terrorism for the region." Russia and the US agreed on the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons.
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Ken is a retired philosophy professor living in the boondocks of Manitoba, Canada, with his Filipina wife. He enjoys reading the news and writing articles. Politically Ken is on the far left of the political spectrum on many issues.