The members of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons’ (OPCW) Confidentiality Commission met last week for the eighteenth time at OPCW headquarters in The Hague. They practiced what should happen if they are called upon to intervene by two member states of the Chemical Weapons Convention or between a member state and the OPCW Technical Secretariat if they cannot resolve a confidentiality dispute between them.
The Commission, officially known as the Commission for the Settlement of Disputes related to Confidentiality, is one of the official subsidiary bodies of the Conference of the States Parties. It consists of 20 members acting in a personal capacity and includes diplomats, technicians and experts in international law and conflict resolution from all over the world. The members, nominated by their five regional groups, elected unanimously Minister Désiré Jean Claude Owono Menguele of Cameroon as their chairperson.
Since its establishment in 1997, the Commission has yet to be called upon to resolve through mediation disputes that may arise. After this annual Commission meeting and preparatory exercise, the Commission continues to stand ready to fulflil its mandate.
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