Albania and weapons of mass destruction
|Weapons of mass destruction|
Albania once possessed a stockpile of weapons of mass destruction. This stockpile of chemical weapons included 16,678 kilograms (36,769 lb) of mustard agent, lewisite, adamsite, and chloroacetophenone.
Albania was among the initial countries who signed the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) in 1993. The treaty, which came into force in 1997, requires the declaration of chemical stockpiles, and the destruction of all chemical weapons, delivery systems and production facilities. One of only six nations to declare a stockpile, Albania made its declaration in March 2003, after the discovery, in December 2002, of 600 bulk containers of chemicals in an abandoned bunker. The material was probably acquired by Communist leader Enver Hoxha in the mid-1970s from China although no documentation was found.
On 11 July 2007, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) confirmed the destruction of the entire chemical weapons stockpile in Albania, making Albania the first nation to completely destroy all of its chemical weapons under the terms of the CWC. Costs were approximately 48 million U.S. dollars. The United States assisted with and funded the destruction operations under the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction.
Biological and nuclear weapons
Albania acceded to the Biological Weapons Convention on June 3, 1992, banning biological weapons. It also acceded to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in September 1990. Albania joined the Geneva Protocol on 20 December 1989, banning chemical and biological weapons and deposited its accession to the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty on 23 April 2003.
Notes and references
- Membership of the OPCW, http://www.opcw.org/en/membership_menu.html
- Kerry Boyd, "Albania Has Chemical Arms; CWC Review Conference Meets", Arms Control Association, June 2003, accessed July 27, 2007
- "Albania's Chemical Cache Raises Fears About Others", http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A61698-2005Jan9.html, Joby Warrick, Washington Post, January 10, 2005, accessed July 27, 2007
- U.S. Department of State, Albania – First Country to Destroy All Of Its Chemical Weapons, July 13, 2007, accessed July 27, 2007
- Nunn-Lugar Destroys Chemical Weapons Stockpile in Albania, http://lugar.senate.gov/record.cfm?id=279351&, Press Release of Senator Lugar, July 19, 2007, accessed July 27, 2007
- Status of Multilateral Arms Regulation and Disarmament Agreements, http://disarmament.un.org/TreatyStatus.nsf/NPT%20(in%20alphabetical%20order)?OpenView, UN Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA), accessed July 27, 2007