For more than 30 years, the United States has worked tirelessly to eliminate our chemical weapons stockpile. Today, I am proud to announce that the United States has safely destroyed the final munition in that stockpile—bringing us one step closer to a world free from the horrors of chemical weapons.
Successive administrations have determined that these weapons should never again be developed or deployed, and this accomplishment not only makes good on our long-standing commitment under the Chemical Weapons Convention, it marks the first time an international body has verified destruction of an entire category of declared weapons of mass destruction. I am grateful to the thousands of Americans who gave their time and talents to this noble and challenging mission for more than three decades.
Today—as we mark this significant milestone—we must also renew our commitment to forging a future free from chemical weapons. I continue to encourage the remaining nations to join the Chemical Weapons Convention so that the global ban on chemical weapons can reach its fullest potential. Russia and Syria should return to compliance with the Chemical Weapons Convention and admit their undeclared programs, which have been used to commit brazen atrocities and attacks. We will continue to stand with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to prevent the stockpiling, production, and use of chemical weapons around the world. And together with our partners, we will not stop until we can finally and forever rid the world of this scourge.