The Government of Panama and the OPCW co-hosted the 16th Regional Meeting of National Authorities of Latin America and the Caribbean from 23-25 June 2015 in Panama City with 37 participants from 29 OPCW States Parties.* Representatives of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the UN Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) also attended.
The three-day meeting is an annual event that provides an opportunity for National Authorities to confer, network and share experiences regarding implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), as well as consult with the Technical Secretariat of the OPCW on how they can best fulfill their obligations and receive required assistance. It also serves as a forum for States Parties in the region to indicate which forms of assistance they can offer to other States Parties, which fosters regional cooperation.
The programme focused, inter alia, on recent developments of the CWC; implementation of Article VI declaration and verification, with a special focus on transfer discrepancies and update on electronic declarations; OPCW’s international cooperation and assistance programme, including activities to enhance national capacity in implementing national legislation and assistance and protection efforts.
The meeting deliberated the regional priorities and mechanisms for effective cooperation among the States Parties in the region. The importance and need of increasing efforts on education and outreach for engagement of relevant stakeholders was emphasized.
A number of bilateral meetings between the Technical Secretariat and national delegates were also conducted to address specific issues and concerns.
*Antigua & Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay and Venezuela