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Geneva Protocol - 1925
PROTOCOL FOR THE PROHIBITION OF THE USE IN WAR OF ASPHYXIATING, POISONOUS OR OTHER GASES, AND OF BACTERIOLOGICAL METHODS OF WARFARE
Preamble, Geneva Protocol of 1925, Opened for signature on 17 June 1925
After the toxic gas atrocities of World War I, the nations of the world convened to establish rules to prevent the further use of chemical weapons and other WMDs. The 1925 Geneva Protocol banned "the use in war of asphyxiating, poisonous or other gases, and of bacteriological methods of warfare."
However, the Protocol did not prohibit the manufacture, storage, and proliferation of such weapons. The Protocol does not caontain verification mechanisms and compliance is dependent on voluntary good faith of member states. Later treaties such as the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention and the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention did cover these missing aspects.
The Protocol has been supported by many UN resolutions for its significance as an early international agreement to eliminate biological and chemical weapons. It currently has 132 state parties. Many previous reservations to the Protocol have been withdrawn. Unfortunately, its prohibitions have been ignored by a few signatories, notably Iraq in the 1980's.
Goerge W. Bush, US President, 17 June 2000
At the 1925 Geneva Conference for the Supervision of the International Traffic in Arms, the parties to the Geneva Convention sought to prohibit the export and use of poisonous gases in war. The US sought to prohibit the export of gases for use in war. France's suggestion to draw up a protocol on the non-use of poisonous gases was adopted by the rest of the parties. At the suggestion of Poland, the ban was extended to bacteriological weapons.
Signed on June 17, 1925, the Geneva Protocol restated the prohibition on chemical and biological weapons previously set forth by the Treaty of Versailles (1919) and the Washington Treaty (which failed because France rejected ratification).
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