International Cooperation: Economic and Technological Development

While the CWC seeks to ban chemical weapons, it also provides for international cooperation among States Parties in the pursuit of chemistry for peaceful purposes.

International cooperation is promoted in many areas: from sponsoring chemical research to guaranteeing legal assistance; from developing and improving laboratory capacity to specialised internships and training in CWC implementation and safe chemical management.

The provisions of the CWC have to be effectively and stringently implemented to ensure that a global chemical weapons ban is achieved. Support programmes, funded by the States Parties, enhance the OPCW's ability to hinder prohibited activity and to extend the benefits of peaceful uses of chemistry to all.

The OPCW Associate and Internship Support programmes provide specialised training in modern industrial practices and skills development to chemists and engineers from States Parties whose economies are either developing or are in transition. Industrial internships and research projects provide insight into best-practice methodology in the safe management of chemicals and in the implementation of the CWC.

The Secretariat supports the exchange of scientific and technical information among States Parties to promote the peaceful uses of chemistry. A variety of research projects in developing countries are also funded in part by the OPCW. Research in any of the following areas may be considered for financial support: environmentally sound technologies for the destruction of hazardous chemicals, analytical detection systems for toxic chemicals, safer alternatives to Scheduled chemicals, medical treatment for accidental exposure to hazardous chemicals, and practical applications for natural products in agriculture and medicine.

  • From Entry into Force of the CWC (29/4/1997) to 31/12/2013, the International Cooperation programmes have had 4,364 beneficiaries, including 532 analytical chemists, 329 Associate Programme participants, 2,058 Conference Support participants, 134 interns, conferences, 92 laboratories, 503 research projects, and 75 transfers of used and functional equipment.
  • Beneficiaries by region: Africa (1,397), Asia (1,358), Latin America and the Caribbean (694), Eastern Europe (554) and Western Europe and Other States (361).

The following table describes the different international cooperation programmes run by the OPCW and the number of beneficiaries, including a regional breakdown, for each of them, since Entry into Force of the CWC in April 1997.

Programme Description Beneficiaries
Associate Programme Established in 2000, it facilitates capacity building, industry-related national implementation of the CWC and promotes good practice in chemical manufacturing and safety. 329 Associates from Africa (135), Asia (97), Latin America (60), Eastern Europe (32) and Western Europe and Other States (5) have participated.
Analytical Skills Development Course Established in 2004, it assists qualified analytical chemists to acquire further practical experience in the analysis of chemicals related to the national implementation of the CWC. This course has benefited 532 chemists from Africa (218), Asia (111), Latin America (99), Eastern Europe (94) and Western Europe and Other States (10).
Conference Support Programme Established in 1997, it facilitates the exchange of scientific and technical information, provides financial support for the organisation of conferences, workshops and seminars on special topics relevant to the CWC and facilitates participation in such events. 2,058 participants from Africa (641), Asia (448), Eastern Europe (387), Latin America and the Caribbean (249) and Western Europe and Other States (333) have benefited from these events. In addition, the OPCW sponsored events in Africa (60), Asia (56), Eastern Europe (47), Latin America (21) and Western Europe and Other States (77).
Research Projects Programme Established in 1997, it assists small-scale research projects in targeted countries for the development of scientific and technical knowledge in the field of chemistry for industrial, agricultural, research, medical and other peaceful purposes relevant to the CWC. 503 projects in Africa (179), Asia (163), Eastern Europe (9), Latin America (148) and Western Europe and Other States (4) have benefited from this programme.
Internship Support Programme Scientists and engineers from developing countries conduct advanced research in laboratories in industrialised countries. 134 interns from Africa (79), Asia (24), Eastern Europe (9), Latin America (20) and Western Europe and Other States (2) have so far been supported by the OPCW.
Laboratory Assistance Programme Established in 1997, it aims at improving the technical competence of laboratories engaged in chemical analysis and monitoring. 92 laboratories in Africa (48), Asia (19), Eastern Europe (8), Latin America (16) and Western Europe and Other States (1) have benefited from this programme.
Equipment Exchange Programme Facilitates the transfer of used and functional equipment to publicly funded laboratories and other academic institutions in developing countries from institutions in industrialised countries. 75 transfers in Africa (32), Asia (9), Eastern Europe (13), Latin America (19) and Western Europe and Other States (2) have been undertaken.
Industry Outreach (Chemical Safety and Security) Established in 2009, the programme consists on workshops to sensitise States Parties to modern approaches in safety and security management, safety culture and promote safety and management and handling of chemicals, in particular in a small and medium-sized enterprises 641 participants from Africa (65), Asia (487), Eastern Europe (2), Latin America and the Caribbean (83) and Western Europe and Other States (4)

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Obtaining a programme document

1. How do we know about the issuance of Secretariat notes related to the annual Associate Programme, Analytical Skills Development Course or other one-time projects?

2. How do we obtain a guidance document for programme items? e.g. Internship Support Programme, S/289/2002/Rev.1?

The requested document can be received as an email attachment or as a hard copy from the International Cooperation Branch (ICB): icb@opcw.org. One may also print it from the OPCW website under the section on International Cooperation Programmes where these documents are hyperlinked.

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