What Is The 1925 Geneva Protocol?

The 1925 Geneva Protocol, or the Geneva Convention as it is commonly known, is a treaty that prohibits the use of chemical weapons and other weapons of mass destruction in the United States. It was signed in Geneva on 17 June 1925 and entered into force on 8 February 1928. The Geneva Protocol follows the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907 and is the first of a series of treaties signed by most countries in the world in 1925. These treaties prohibit the use of chemical and biological weapons in warfare and were designed as measures to prevent the atrocities of the warmongers in World War I. The Geneva Protocol was a follow-up agreement – right up to the Chemical and Biological Weapons Prevention Convention (CABW), which was signed on the same day. Moreover, a significant proportion of the parties reserve the right to retaliate should chemical or biological weapons ever be used against them by an enemy, ally or foe.

The 1925 Geneva Protocol, also known as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), closely correspond to the intentions of the Nuclear Non-Prohibition Treaty. However, the Geneva Protocol was much more limited than the TPNW and had far fewer negotiators and signatories. It did not eliminate these weapons on its own initiative, but only prohibited them; in contrast to the TPNW, it instead sought to shape norms by banning them.

The Geneva Protocol prohibited the use of chemical weapons and other weapons of mass destruction and the possession of such weapons by persons under 18 years of age. Although the use of such weapons was prohibited, their production, development and storage was not prohibited to fill the gaps. The Protocol recognized the importance of bringing together the control of chemical and biological weapons under the auspices of the International Convention for the Prevention and Control of Chemical Weapons (ICCW).

The Geneva Protocol was a good idea, but there is no control mechanism, compliance is voluntary and the Treaty itself is completely toothless. There are no guarantees of compliance with the Protocol or the verification mechanisms contained therein. This verdict is confirmed by the fact that the adoption of the Chemical Weapons Convention in 1993 was signed by only four countries: the United States, Great Britain, France, Germany and Russia. Under international pressure, Syria’s Bashar al-Assad agreed to an agreement on the use of chemical weapons in his country after the 2013 assault on Ghouta.

The 1925 Geneva Protocol prohibits the use of chemical and biological weapons, but does not prohibit their use in any other way. The definition of a chemical weapon requires it to be used as a weapon, and it is the first international agreement to limit its use to a limited range of uses, such as chemical weapons. In 2001, negotiations on a protocol to address this shortcoming were halted by the US, and the French proposed the creation of a new treaty, the International Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical and Biological Weapons (ICCB).

The US, Britain and Germany renounced the use of chemical weapons, but prepared the resources for their use by storing tons of them. The Soviet Union kept the development secret and had the means to produce it, as well as the ability to fire it at people – to test it.

The Secretary of State ensured that the US administration’s decision to condemn the use of chemical and biological weapons by Iran and other warring parties in Syria is clear and consistent with the 1925 Geneva Protocol. Condemning the use of CW munitions by war should equally deter Iran from continuing the reckless and inhumane tactics that have characterized recent offensives. In 1968 Syria joined the International Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (ICCW) and the Geneva Conventions.

The 1925 Geneva Protocol was drawn up and signed in Geneva, Switzerland, to hold the international community accountable for the use of chemical and biological weapons by the United Nations. The contractual nature of the Protocol makes it a first user agreement.

The United States has taken the lead in banning the export of gas for use in war, and Poland has proposed extending the ban to include bacteriological weapons. Following a French proposal, it was decided to draw up a new protocol on the use of chemical and biological weapons for war purposes. Although it did not enter into force, this Conference adopted a number of other provisions of the Protocol, such as a ban on chemical weapons and a ban on the transfer of weapons of mass destruction to other countries.

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