Not only has Grenada signed and ratified the United Nations Convention on the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction, but it has adopted it into national law.
This Convention which was enforced into international law since 1997 aims to eliminate an entire category of weapons of mass destruction by prohibiting the development, production, acquisition, stockpiling, retention, transfer or use of chemical weapons by States Parties.
Once the Bill could have gone through the necessary parliamentary approval from both Houses of Parliament, Government will then establish a National Authority whose function and responsibilities shall include to supervise the domestic implementation of the convention and to perform any task that may be required by the minister pursuant to the convention.
“The National Authority shall have all such powers as may be necessary for, or in connection with or reasonably incidental to the performance of its functions under the Act and may co-opt one or more persons to attend a particular meeting of the Authority for the purpose of assisting or addressing the Authority,” said the explanatory notes to the Bill.
Under the law a person who uses; develops, produces, otherwise acquires, stockpiles, or retain; participates in the transfer of, directly or indirectly; engages in military preparation, or in preparations of a military nature to use; participates as an accomplice, attempt assist, encourage, induce in any way anyone to engage in any activity involving chemical weapon commits an offense and is liable to imprisonment for life.
A person commits and offense if he or she used a riot control agent as a method of warfare and can be imprison for no more than ten years. When a person has been convicted of an under offense under the Chemical weapons Act, anything seized by means of which or in respect of which the offense was committed can be forfeiture by the Court.
Provisions are provided for limited use in the area of industrial, agricultural, research, medical, pharmaceutical or other peaceful purposes. If a national inspector has reasonable grounds to believe that there maybe chemical weapons on any premises he will have to seek the consent of the occupier or where that permission cannot be obtained an application can be done through a magistrate.
Leader of Government Business, Gregory Bowen in presenting the bill to the Parliament said that following the recent incident in Syria it was realised that Grenada was among the few outstanding countries to make the convention national law.
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