India has informed the United Nations that it has destroyed its stockpile of chemical weapons in compliance with the international Chemical Weapons Convention.
Having Done this India has become third country after South Korea and Albania to do so.
The government notified the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) on March 26 of the fulfilment of its obligations to 'completely destroy' its declared chemical weapons stockpile.
'In addition, our inspectors confirmed the completion of destruction of the former chemical weapons production facility, which had been temporarily converted for chemical weapons destruction purposes,' he added.
After denying the possession of chemical weapons for years, India in June 1997 declared a stockpile of 1,044 tonnes of sulphur mustard. At that time, less than two percent of the chemical was filled into artillery shells and the remainder was stored in bulk containers.
India's declaration came after the entry into force of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) that created the OPCW. On Jan 14, 1993 India become an original signatory to the CWC.
'I wish to sincerely, warmly, and emphatically congratulate India on this laudable achievement, which is the result of a consistent and unwavering commitment shown by India since entry into force of the Convention. This attainment further strengthens the Convention as an effective instrument for promoting the objectives of peace and security,' Pfirter said.
The Chemical Weapons Convention divides toxic chemicals and precursors that could be used as chemical weapons or that could be used in the manufacture of chemical weapons into three categories.
Category two chemicals are primarily precursors to category one chemicals, and most have some industrial uses.
Chemicals in the third category are produced in large quantities commercially but in some cases were used as chemical warfare agents and can also serve as precursors to category one or two chemicals.