The 17th Basic Course for representatives of the National Authorities was held by the OPCW at its headquarters in The Hague from 23 to 27 March 2015, with 42 participants representing the National Authorities of 39 States Parties*. A representative from Myanmar, a State not party, also attended the course, which was conducted in English and French simultaneously.
The Basic Course is a key part of the OPCW’s continuing efforts to enhance the capacity of National Authorities to fulfil their obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).
The goals of the CWC can only be achieved through its full and effective implementation by all States Parties, which makes it essential that the personnel of National Authorities have a comprehensive understanding of the requirements of the Convention. The programme covers all aspects of the CWC, including the history of the Convention, an overview of the OPCW, the role of the National Authority, national implementation measures under Article VII, the verification and transfers regimes, and an introduction to the EDNA (the Electronic Declarations tool for National Authorities) and SIX (Secure Information Exchange) systems.
Participants were also briefed on the OPCW Education and Outreach Programme and activities, relevant developments in science and technology, as well as international cooperation programmes and all e-learning modules developed and administered by the Technical Secretariat. The course programme also comprised practical hands-on exercises, including a series of case studies and exercises on legal aspects of the Convention, inspections, and the preparation of declarations under Article VI and EDNA. Another highlight of the programme was a visit to the OPCW Laboratory and Equipment Store in Rijswijk.
* Algeria, Armenia, Bahrain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burundi, Cameroon, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, India, Fiji, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Guatemala, Guinea-Bissau, Jamaica, Japan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Madagascar, Malaysia, Malawi, Mongolia, Montenegro, Nepal, Niger, Philippines, Rwanda, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, the Netherlands, Togo, Turkey, Zambia.