The Government of the Republic of Congo and the OPCW co-hosted the meeting from 4-6 June 2013 with 60 participants from 27 States Parties* present, together with a representative of the African Union (AU) Commission. Also attending were the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) focal points in the East African Community, the Economic Community of Central African States, the North Africa Regional Capability, and the Southern African Development Community (SADC). These focal points play an important role in strengthening implementation of the CWC at the regional level.
In his opening remarks to the meeting, the Minister at the Presidency for National Defense, Hon. Charles Richard Mondjo, said the elimination of chemical weapons and prevention of their re-emergence are among the Republic of Congo’s leading principles and are at the centre of its international policy. He urged other African States Parties to follow suit, which he said would help the continent to escape chronic insecurity and instability.
The Minister also announced that the Republic of Congo had formally adopted national CWC implementing legislation with its signing earlier that day by the country’s President.
The regional meetings provide an occasion for discussing issues related to CWC implementation in Africa and for States Parties to exchange information, present their needs for assistance to the OPCW, and indicate which forms of assistance they can offer to other States Parties. In this year’s meeting participants also recommended ways in which issues relating to CWC implementation in Africa might be incorporated into the work of the participating regional and sub-regional institutions.
* Algeria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, Republic of Congo, DR Congo, Gambia, Guinea, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritania, Morocco, Namibia, Niger, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.