Executive Council
The governing body of the OPCW

41 Member States responsible for promoting the effective implementation of and compliance with the Convention.

In order to ensure the Executive Council’s effectiveness, the Convention requires that the membership is constituted with due regard to the principle of equitable geographical distribution, the importance of chemical industry, and political and security interests. Each Member State has the right, on a rotating basis, to serve on the Executive Council.

The Executive Council consists of 41 OPCW Member States that are elected by the Conference of the States Parties and rotate every two years. The Council supervises the activities of the Technical Secretariat and is responsible for promoting the effective implementation of and compliance with the Convention.

The 41 Members of the Executive Council by region
Regional Group Number of Members
Africa 9
Asia 9
Eastern Europe 5
Latin America and the Caribbean (Grulac) 7
Western Europe and Others Group (Weog) 10
Rotating State Party from Asia or Grulac 1
Total 41

Principal Functions 

The Executive Council is required to carry out all functions and powers entrusted to it by the Convention, as well as any functions delegated to it by the Conference. In so doing, the Executive Council must act in conformity with the recommendations, decisions and guidelines of the Conference, and must ensure their proper and continuous implementation.

Among the most important of the Council’s functions are:

  • taking of measures in cases of non-compliance by a State Party, including the submission of recommendations for action to be taken by the Conference;
  • considering and submitting to the Conference the draft OPCW programme and budget;
  • considering and submitting to the Conference the draft report of the Organisation on the status of implementation of the Convention and the report of the Council on the performance of its activities; and
  • making a recommendation to the Conference on the appointment of the Director-General.

Executive Powers 

The Council has considerable executive powers in relation to the implementation of the Convention. It may, without reference to the Conference:

  • conclude agreements with States Parties on behalf of the Organisation in connection with assistance and protection against chemical weapons;
  • approve agreements or arrangements relating to the implementation of verification activities negotiated by the Technical Secretariat with States Parties, such as facility agreements; and,
  • subject to prior approval by the Conference, the Council may conclude agreements or arrangements with States and international organisations on behalf of the Organisation.

The Executive Council plays a key role in the resolution of ambiguities and concerns regarding compliance with the Convention. The Executive Council is the primary focal point designated by the Convention for resolving concerns surrounding challenge inspections and investigations of alleged use, including by facilitating consultation and clarification among States Parties.

A special role is also assigned to the Executive Council in relation to requests for assistance and protection against the use or threat of use of chemical weapons, in accordance with Article X of the Convention.

The Executive Council is also assigned powers in the event of a dispute between States Parties relating to the interpretation or application of the Convention.

Director-General H.E. Mr Fernando Arias at an OPCW Executive Council meeting

Director-General H.E. Mr Fernando Arias at an OPCW Executive Council meeting

Decision Making

In practice the Council has generally been guided by the principle of consensus.

In accordance with the Rules of Procedure of the Executive Council adopted by the Conference at its First Session, the Council shall generally take decisions on matters of substance by a two-thirds majority vote, and decide on questions of procedure by a simple majority of all its members. However, a three-quarter majority of the Executive Council is required to stop a challenge inspection from proceeding.

Sessions and Meetings 

The Executive Council currently holds three regular sessions annually. Between regular sessions it may also hold special meetings as often as may be required for the fulfilment of its powers and functions.


12 May 2024 – 11 May 2025


H.E. Ambassador Andrés Terán Parral

Permanent Representative of Ecuador


Permanent Representatives of:

  • Algeria (Africa)
  • Qatar (Asia)
  • Italy (WEOG)
  • North Macedonia (Eastern Europe)



  • Algeria (2026)
  • Angola (2025)
  • Cameroon (2025)
  • Ghana (2026)
  • Kenya (2025)
  • Morocco (2025)
  • Nigeria (2026)
  • Rwanda (2025)
  • South Africa (2026)

Asia and the Pacific

  • Bangladesh (2026)
  • China (2025)
  • India (2025)
  • Iran (Islamic Republic of) (2026)
  • Japan (2025)
  • Malaysia (2026)
  • Pakistan (2026)
  • Qatar (2025)
  • Republic of Korea (2025)
  • Saudi Arabia (2025)

Eastern Europe

  • Lithuania (2026)
  • North Macedonia (2025)
  • Poland (2026)
  • Romania (2025)
  • Ukraine (2026)

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Argentina (2025)
  • Brazil (2025)
  • Chile (2026)
  • Ecuador (2026)
  • El Salvador (2026)
  • Guatemala (2026)
  • Mexico (2025)

Western Europe and Other States

  • Belgium (2026)
  • Denmark (2026)
  • France (2025)
  • Germany (2025)
  • Greece (2026)
  • Italy (2025)
  • New Zealand (2026)
  • Spain (2026)
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (2025)
  • United States of America (2025)