Legal Workshop held in Uganda for African National Authorities

28 October 2011

The Government of the Republic of Uganda and the OPCW co-hosted a Legal Workshop for National Authorities of State Parties in Africa from 11 – 13 October 2011 in Kampala. The workshop was attended by 29 participants from 15 African States Parties who are currently responsible for drafting national implementing legislation, and Focal Points for National Authorities.* 

The workshop provided practical help in legal issues surrounding national implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), primarily technical assistance for States Parties in the region with national implementing legislation in various stages of the drafting process. The workshop aimed to enable these States Parties to finalise their draft legislation for adoption, and was held under the auspices of the OPCW Programme to Strengthen Cooperation with Africa (“Africa Programme”).

Presentations in the workshop included, inter alia, an overview of CWC implementation; prohibition of chemical weapons – concepts and means; essential steps in implementing the CWC; national implementing measures including declaration and verification requirements; role of National Authorities in effective CWC implementation; and the Africa Programme. 

The agenda was structured in two parallel segments: language-based working sessions with the legal drafters, and bilateral consultations with the National Authority Focal Points. Participants presented on the current status of CWC implementation in their States Parties focussed on the drafting of national implementing legislation, the challenges this posed, and the way forward. The workshop concluded with a roundtable discussion on the adoption of national implementing legislation and what assistance the Technical Secretariat could provide in this regard.

* Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon, Djibouti, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Swaziland, Togo, Uganda and Zimbabwe