After a series of attacks last year, Russia’s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov is calling on the UN to push for new legislature to prevent weaponized chemicals from being used by terrorist cells. This new and “extremely urgent” treaty comes on the heels of Islamic State attacks in Syria and Iraq. In these attacks, terrorists used artillery shells filled with sulfur mustard. This dangerous chemical is regulated under the Chemical Weapons Convention for causing blisters to form on the skin and within the lungs when exposed. With chemicals like these actively being used on the battle front is it easy to see why minister Lavrov is calling for increased regulation and precaution. This is an issue of huge importance for worldwide safety.
How terrorists are acquiring these highly sophisticated chemical agents is one of the main issues this new legislature aims to address. While it is believed that terrorist groups have developed the knowledge to synthesize these agents successfully, a large portion of these chemicals are believed to have been taken from governments when opposition groups have seized territory. With this in mind, Russia and the US have partnered to end chemical warfare by working with Middle Eastern countries to destroying their facilities and caches of these deadly chemical weapons. Although this is not a long term solution, this method is helping resolve the issue until further, more encompassing, strategies are developed and implemented.