The Australian Government is calling on the international community to take a tougher stance against chemical and biological weapons following a re-emergence of their usage.

The Organisation for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has confirmed the recent use of chemical weapons in Syria and is concerned by allegations of their use in Iraq. Reports that the nerve agent VX was used in the apparent assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s estranged half-brother Kim Jong-nam are deeply troubling.

I welcome the focus on issues concerning the use of chemical and biological weapons at the full meeting of the Australia Group to be held in Paris from 26 to 30 June 2017.

Australia founded and permanently chairs the 42 member Australia Group, which is dedicated to preventing the development, trafficking and use of dangerous and inhumane chemical and biological weapons.

The international community made strong gains with the creation of the Chemical Weapons Convention in 1993 and the establishment of the OPCW more than 20 years ago.

Media enquiries

  • Minister's office: (02) 6277 7500
  • DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555