New York: More than half of the world`s chemical weapons stockpiles have been destroyed in the 13 years since the UN Chemical Weapons Convention entered into force, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said on Thursday.
Ban said the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which was set up to monitor the convention, has certified the destruction of 58 percent of the weapons as of the end of March.
It has also verified that 89 percent of chemical weapons production facilities have been destroyed and converted to peaceful uses.
Countries that have begun eliminating their stockpiles include the US, Russia and Iraq, while others like Libya, Albania and India have reported total destruction of their chemical weapons.
The organisation has also conducted more than 4,000 inspections in 81 countries that signed the convention, including verification at commercial enterprises.
"On this annual observance, let us honour the victims of chemical warfare by re-affirming our commitment to strengthening the convention," Ban said. "Let us also remember the suffering of families of these victims as we work together to free the world once and for all, from the horror of each and every weapon of mass destruction."