About the Confidentiality Commission

The Confidentiality Annex to the Convention establishes, as a subsidiary organ of the Conference, a Commission for the settlement of disputes related to confidentiality (the “Confidentiality Commission”). In accordance with paragraph 23 of the Confidentiality Annex, the Conference at its First Session adopted rules governing the composition and operation of the Confidentiality Commission. These rules were adopted as part of the OPCW Policy on Confidentiality [PDF - 253 KB].

The Confidentiality Commission has 20 members who are appointed by the Conference. Each State Party may nominate one candidate on the basis of: individual competence, integrity, and background in one or more fields relevant to the work of the Confidentiality Commission (dispute resolution, the confidentiality and verification provisions of the Convention, chemical industry, military security, data security, international law and national legal systems). Prior to appointment by the Conference, all candidates are considered by the regional groups to which their States Parties belong.

Paragraph 23 of the Confidentiality Annex authorises the Confidentiality Commission to consider disputes relating to breaches of confidentiality involving both a State Party and the Organisation. The rules adopted by the Conference allow the Confidentiality Commission to consider two additional categories of dispute: those referred to it by the Conference, in accordance with Article XIV, paragraph 4 of the Convention; and cases where the Confidentiality Commission is chosen by two States Parties in dispute over a matter of confidentiality as a means of resolving their dispute pursuant to Article XIV, paragraph 2.

Did You Know?

The Confidentiality Commission has never been required to consider any disputes. The Commission has, however, drafted detailed operating procedures which have been approved by the Conference.

The Conference also appointed the International Bureau of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague to serve as its Registry, and an agreement on this matter has been concluded between the Court and the OPCW.