Globalization can be defined as the process of integrating the social, economic, political, and cultural of different countries globally. Globalization stems back all the way to the second half of the 20th century.
Globalization has plenty of accolades, but it also has major negative consequences. Scientific developments hastened with globalization and tools of mass destruction like chemical weapons started being produced on large scale and demand. This paper focuses on how the use of chemical weapons in Syria has affected the Syrian environment and its relations with its neighboring countries. Background Chemical weapons are some of the most dangerous tools to be used in war.
Chemical weapons have been used for centuries in fight, but it was not until the First World War that they were used in large scale. According to Ahmet Üzümcü says that this was all made possible by the rapid advances in science technology that enabled the mass production of these lethal weapons. Despite the early efforts to control the use of these weapons by signing the Geneva protocol in 1925, it did not require that one could not stock chemical agent; therefore, they continued to be used in warfare during the cold war and even the Iran-Iraq war. In 1993, the world community signed the chemical weapon convention, which was enforced in 1997 (1).
This was a much comprehensive ban on chemical weapons. Destruction of these weapons is projected to conclude in the next few years. Recent events in Syria have reminded the world of the horrific impact of chemical weapons. According to Pita René and Juan Domingo, the Syrian government accused a terrorist group of firing a chemical rocket at the southeast of the city of Aleppo, Khan Al Asal that took the lives of 25 innocent people and injured more than 110 people (2).
Jefferson quoted the US secretary of state on the event as “moral obscenity”. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) could not investigate the disaster since at the time Syria was not a member of the Chemical World Convention. However, after the Syrian Government asked the United Nations to investigate whether the use of chemical weapons caused the attack, it started the UN Secretary-General Mechanism (SGM).
The UN Secretary-General assembled a mission that consisted of OCPW personnel and medical staff from the world health organization (4). The investigation did confirm that the attack was chemical based, and also set the base for the investigation of other alleged chemical weapon attacks with France and the United Kingdom accusing Syria of another chemical related attack. These were followed by other allegations by Qatar and the USA.
They were all alleging that through their investigations they had found the 12 different attacks to have been caused by chemical weapons which were in possession of the Syrian government. The investigations were conducted through the means of individualized governments, which meant that the UN could not use the findings. The United Nations could not use these findings because they did not have the proper chain of protection, as the United Nations required the investigation to be done by its personnel.
However, after all the turn of events, the Syrian government decided to join the CWC led to the commencement of international efforts to completely Syria of these dangerous chemical weapons (5). Problems The use of Chemical weapons in Syria attracted a lot of attention from big world powers. Greg says that the USA and the UK became the most spoken in the fight against removing chemical weapons and a new regime in Syria.
After the statement of the US secretary of state John Kerry, the then President of the United States of America Barrack Obama also issued a statement warning Syria that any use of chemical weapons by the country would be crossing a global red line. The British Prime minister David Cameron despite conceding the parliamentary vote on taking part in military action and gave a striking warning that the use of chemical weapons would quality a strong response from the United Kingdom.
According to Christian Henderson, the UK decided that by “legal basis military action would be humanitarian intervention.” Syria had potentially made unnecessary powerful enemies who could subdue it if it went past diplomacy (3). Syria was not part of the CWC when the first attack took place; this meant that the relevant authority that was assigned with the task of investigating chemical attacks could not get involved.
Even though other individualized governments had carried out their investigation due to the lack of chain of custody of the investigations, even the UN could not take any action. This meant the process would drag on for a longer period than it should have and the relationship between the countries involved would continue to strain. In turn, the process of ridding the universe of chemical weapons would suffer setbacks.
The attack in Syria brought back the attention of the world to a problem that needed an urgent solution. Syria was still one of the countries that were still not in the CWC, and the attack showed the world that they needed to do everything possible to get the other countries to join CWC. According to Catherine Jefferson, Syria did allow and joined CWC and had since cooperated with the body in the destruction of the chemical weapons stock. For the OPCW to get involved in the first investigation, it required the activation of the SGM, the enactment of this mechanism showed the importance of achieving Universal membership (2).
Since Syria became part of the CWC actions have been taken to ensure that Syria destroys the chemical weapons and through this Samiotis and Grekos, shows in 2014 chemical weapons from Syria were destroyed aboard a vessel belonging to the US Maritime Administration by the name MV Cape Ray in the Mediterranean Sea. This was a big milestone in the fight for a world free from chemical weaponry (2).
The first agreement against chemical weapons, the Geneva protocol was signed in 1925, but countries were still stockpiling chemical weapons, and it took well over 68 years before the Chemical Weapon Convention was established in 1993. It took another four years for it to be enforced, but the drawback is that there are countries that are not part of the CWC; thus, this does not affect that which puts the convention under threat.
This is seen when the attacks in Syria take place by the use of the weapons, and it is even harder to assemble a mission to investigate the attacks due to the lack of custody (René and Domingo 2). The convention has played a big role in destroying chemical weapons, but there is still a long way to go before they accomplish this mission entirely. The use of chemical weapons in Syria has a very negative effect on the natural environment of the countries affected.
According to Pita René and Juan Domingo shows, that the samples collected from the scene of the attack had Sarin decomposition and metabolites. The destruction of chemical weapons in the Mediterranean Sea according to has consequences that even from a scientific perspective still do not know the extent to which it may destroy the sea. The chemicals involved in the making of the weapons cause a lot of damage to the environment which if not dealt with my cause a permanent problem.
Many of the attacks have happened within Syria, and any signs of way are a threat to political stability and attainment of world peace. The claims that have been made against the Syrian government have not been proven, and thus no one has taken responsibility for the attacks (4). Solutions According to Christopher Jenkins, the CWC is on the right track towards the complete destruction of chemical weapons. The CWC should engage the countries that have not joined them to subscribe to the cause and help the world become chemical weapon free.
Most of the countries are storing the weapons because of the uncertainty that they might face a war shortly. If the CWC and other relevant authorities come together, get involved and guarantee these countries that they won’t fall into the attack, then it may be possible to get them to join CWC (1).
The Syrian government has strained relations with other countries due to the recent attacks. It is important for these countries to have a good international relationship for the CWC to be well enforced and reduce any chances of them getting into a war and spark another wave of large-scale production chemical weapons. The Syrian government should also get involved in the process of restoring the country to a more stable state. They should get as much outside help as possible and enhance their international relationships.
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