Fresh ideas on fostering international cooperation to promote peaceful uses of chemistry among States Parties emerged from a workshop held on 22 November by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
Article XI of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) provides that the CWC implementation should not hamper the economic or technological development of States Parties who should all freely participate in the exchange of chemicals, equipment and scientific and technical information for the peaceful uses of chemistry.
Many OPCW States Parties recognise the economic and technological benefit of the full and comprehensive implementation of the CWC though peaceful uses of chemistry. Forty attendees from 25 countries participated in the Review and Evaluation Workshop of the Components of an Agreed Framework for the Full Implementation of Article XI and reviewed the portfolio of activities run by the Technical Secretariat and State Parties in promoting peaceful uses of chemistry.
During the workshop, attendees had the opportunity to further analyse their States’ needs in relation to the CWC and, once again, underlined that the object and purpose of the Convention cannot be fully realised if the economic and technological development of States Parties is neglected. Correspondingly, they emphasised OPCW’s programmes and activities related to capacity-building, education and outreach as beneficial to bolstering States Parties’ scientific and economic development.
“Being part of the OPCW family gives many countries a much needed economic and technological boost and remains one of the most tangible benefits of joining the CWC,” stated one of the participants.
The Components of an Agreed Framework for the Full Implementation of Article XI were established by the decision of the Conference of States Parties in 2011.
Since then, OPCW’s International Cooperation and Assistance Division organised a variety of capacity-building and other activities to promote economic and technical development of States Parties. The effectiveness of these activities has been assessed at regular review workshops, which marked the path forward.
As the implementing body for the Chemical Weapons Convention, the OPCW oversees the global endeavour to permanently eliminate chemical weapons. Since the Convention’s entry into force in 1997 – with its 192 States Parties – it is the most successful disarmament treaty, eliminating an entire class of weapons of mass destruction.
To date, nearly 94 per cent of all chemical weapon stockpiles declared by possessor States have been destroyed under OPCW verification. For its extensive efforts in eliminating chemical weapons, the OPCW received the 2013 Nobel Prize for Peace.