United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland: Ratification of Chemical Weapons Convention

State United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Treaty Chemical Weapons Convention
Action Type Ratification
Depositary Secretary-General of the United Nations
Date 13 May 1996
Note

On 26 October 2005, the Secretary-General received from the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland a notification stating that “... the United Kingdom’s ratification of the said Convention shall extend to the following territories for whose international relations the United Kingdom is responsible: Bailiwick of Guernsey, Bailiwick of Jersey, Isle of Man, Anguilla, Bermuda, British Antarctic Territory, British Indian Ocean Territory, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands, St Helena and Dependencies, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia, Turks and Caicos Islands.”

In this regard, on 14 November 2005, the Secretary-General received from the Government of Argentina, the following communcation:

In that connection, the Argentine Republic rejects the declaration made by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland extending the territorial scope of the above-mentioned Convention1 to the Malvinas Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands which are an integral part of the Argentine national territory.

It likewise rejects the British statement insofar as it refers to the intention to apply the said Convention to the so-called ‘British Antarctic Territory’ and affirms that that statement in no way affects the sovereign rights of the Argentine Republic over the Argentine Antarctic Sector which is an integral part of its national territory. In this connection, it is necessary to bear in mind the terms of article IV of the Antarctic Treaty, signed on 1 December 1959, to which the Argentine Republic and the United Kingdom are party.

The Argentine Republic also recalls that the Malvinas Islands, South Georgia, the South Sandwich Islands and the surrounding maritime areas are an integral part of the Argentine national territory and, since they are being illegally o the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, they form the subject of a sovereignty dispute between both parties, a fact acknowledged by several international bodies.

On this matter, the General Assembly of the United Nations has adopted resolutions 2065 (XX), 3160 (XXVIII), 31/49, 37/9, 38/12, 39/6, 40/21, 41/40, 42/19 and 43/25, in which it recognizes the existence of the sovereignty dispute related to the ‘Question of the Malvinas Islands’ and urges the Governments of the Argentine Republic and of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to resume negotiations with a view to finding a peaceful, just and lasting solution to the dispute as soon as possible. For its part, the Special Committee on Decolonization of the United Nations has repeatedly issued similar calls, most recently through the resolution adopted on 15 June 2005. The General Assembly of the Organization of American States also adopted a further declaration on the question on 7 June 2005.

Further, on 29 December 2005, the Secretary-General received from the Government of Spain, the following communication with regard to the notification by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland of the extension of the territorial application of the said Convention to Gibraltar:

“...the Kingdom of Spain considers that such an extension has been made exclusively inasmuch as Gibraltar is a territory for whose international relations the United Kingdom is responsible and, therefore, falls within the category of "any place under [the] jurisdiction or control [of a State Party]", according to the terminology used in the Convention.

Therefore, the Kingdom of Spain considers that the circulation of the United Kingdom's notification in the above-mentioned terms does not prejudge in any way either the legal status of the territory nor the sovereignty claims that the Kingdom of Spain consistently maintains with regard to Gibraltar.

On 27 April 2006, the Secretary-General received from the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland the following communication:

“In accordance with instructions received from the Government, I have the honour to refer to the communication dated 30 November 2005 from the Government of Argentina to the United Nations relating to the extension of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and use of Chemical Weapons and their Destruction, to the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, and the British Antarctic Territory.

The Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland are fully entitled to extend the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction to the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, and the British Antarctic Territory.

The Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland have no doubts about the sovereignty of the United Kingdom over the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, and the British Antarctic Territory, and their surrounding maritime areas, and reject the claim by the Government of Argentina to soverignty over those islands and areas and that the Falkland Islands and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands are under illegal occupation by the United Kingdom.”

Other Actions Signature on deposit with UN — 13 January 1993