the Chemical Weapons Convention came into effect on April 22 with China and the us ratifying it at the last minute. The treaty bans the development, production, stockpiling or use of chemical weapons. It also requires member states to destroy their chemical weapons' stockpiles and production facilities within the year 2007. Altogether, 78 nations have signed the treaty which was finalised in 1993 after 20 years of deliberations.
Earlier, China had been expressing reservations about signing the treaty because it feared that monitoring and inspection procedures could be used to interfere in its domestic affairs. China and the us have also become founders of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the body responsible for enforcing the convention.The executive committee, which will directly monitor confidential data on global stocks of chemical weapons, will comprise only founders. Russia postponed the ratification of the treaty because of "very difficult economic conditions."