3. SOUNDBITE (English) Rogelio Pfirter, Director-General, Organisation head for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW):
"We also face a challenge in the sense that in order for a chemical weapons convention to be ultimately realized, we need to get every member of the international community in because should there remain one which is not a member then there will be a major loop hole that will allow fabrication of, I would say, of this very deadly weapons at the expense of the rest of humanity."
4. Cutaway, journalists
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Rogelio Pfirter, Director-General, Organisation head for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW):
"There remains a hardcore of some countries which we don't see any evidence of them moving towards accessions. These countries, specifically, I will name them because this is name without shame, the number one is the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, which I must say inspite of all of our efforts in order to attract their attention and encourage them to join has so far given us not a single response."
6. Cutaway, journalists
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Rogelio Pfirter, Director-General, Organisation head for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW):
"Another part of the world where we haven't made the progress that we want is the Middle East. There are countries that remain outside, namely Israel, Egypt, Lebanon and Syria."
8. Cutaway, journalists
9. Wide shot, press conference
FILE - UNSCOM - JULY 1994, IRAQ
10. Various shots, weapons inspectors at abandoned chemicals plants
Organisation head for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Rogelio Pfirter, told journalists that despite recent "enormous progress" in increasing membership, there is still a a significant threat of the use of chemical weapons in the world today.
Pfirter, who gave a press conference at the United Nations headquarters in New York today, said that even with 92 per cent of the countries in the world as members and 96 per cent of chemical industries monitored by the organization, there are still many major challenges such as disarmament and non-proliferation of chemical weapons.
Among the few who are not members are the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and key countries in the Middle East such as Israel, Egypt, Lebanon and Syria. He added these countries form a "hard core" of nations that are resisting any moves towards joining the OPCW.
On the issue of disarmament, Pfirter said he was optimistic that the six countries which declared to the OPCW in 1997 that they have chemical weapons would meet the deadline to complete the destruction of their stockpiles by 2012.
Together these States, Russia, the United States, India, Albania, Libya and one other nation, which Mr. Pfirter said the OPCW had agreed not to name, had 71,000 metric tons of weaponry at the time of their declarations.
On non-proliferation, OPCW has stepped up its efforts, conducting more than 1100 inspections in 80 countries and identifying and cataloguing at least 5000 facilities worldwide as of relevance to the Convention. But more resources are needed to meet the demands for inspections, especially in some categories of chemical industry.
Countries automatically become members of the OPCW when they accede to the Chemical Weapons Convention, which entered into force in April 1997. The convention was created during years of negotiations at the UN Conference on Disarmament established in 1979.