Workshop on Article XI of the CWC at OPCW Headquarters

26 November 2010
Participants of the Article XI Workshop

Participants of the Article XI Workshop

The workshop was co-chaired by H.E. Abuelgasim Abdelwahid Sheikh Idris of Sudan and H.E. Maarten Lak of the Netherlands. The OPCW Deputy Director General, John Freeman, delivered an opening statement on behalf of Director-General Ahmet Üzümcü:

“This is, for our Organisation and for its Member States, a very important event (whose) aim is to foster the exchange of ideas among States Parties about a key provision of the CWC covering the promotion of international cooperation in the peaceful uses of chemistry… While the number and types of programmes offered by the Secretariat in the area of international cooperation have steadily expanded, our efforts in this area require continuous refinement and adjustment to better respond to the needs of relevant national institutions.  At the same time, advances in chemistry and broader knowledge about our programmes also raise new expectations that need to be addressed.”

The statement noted that the UN General Assembly has proclaimed 2011 as the “International Year of Chemistry”, which will be an occasion to highlight the CWC as the only effective legal instrument that seeks to prevent the misuse of chemistry while promoting its development for peaceful purposes. Also in 2011, the OPCW will organise a “Conference on International Cooperation and Chemical Safety & Security” to enhance support for the CWC’s objectives, including in the area of international cooperation.

As a platform for the workshop discussions, several prominent keynote speakers presented background information on current OPCW international cooperation programmes and issues that are central to full Article XI implementation. The speakers included Dr. John Makhubalo (Chemical Knowledge Promotion and Exchange); Mr. David Moore (Chemical Safety in Chemical Industry); Dr. Norman Kirkby (Integrated Chemicals Management); Dr. Paula Vanninen (Enhancing Laboratory Capabilities); and Dr. Valerii Kukhar (CWC and Advances in Chemical Science). The delegates were then divided into three groups to explore the key themes identified by the Executive Council at its 61st Session.

The workshop’s innovative design ensured interactive discussions that optimised the available time and provided all delegates the opportunity to contribute. Participants reviewed current international cooperation programmes, obstacles and further opportunities for both expanding the international cooperation portfolio and enhancing the effectiveness of programmes. The active participation of the delegates generated a wide range of ideas and actionable proposals.

A summary report of the proceeding of the workshop will be presented to the OPCW Executive Council through the ongoing facilitation on Article XI for its consideration.

OPCW NEWS  40/2010