§ Lord Norrie
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What progress has been made in international initiatives to make plastic explosives detectable.
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (The Earl of Caithness):
A new convention on the marking of plastic explosives for detection was opened for signature at the International Civil Aviation Organisation on 1st March. The United Kingdom, with 40 other countries, signed the convention. Among other things, the convention will require all plastic explosives manufactured by states parties to be "marked" through a chemical additive; prohibit the import and export of unmarked plastic explosives; and, subject to certain exceptions, require the destruction of commercial stocks of unmarked plastic explosives within three years, and certain military stocks within 15 years, after entry into force. The convention is the result of an AngloCzechoslavak initiative, launched after the Lockerbie bombing. We warmly welcome the rapid completion of the convention, in which British officials played a leading part. We hope to ratify the convention at an early date.