THE HAGUE, Netherlands — 10 November 2017 — The Technical Secretariat of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons organised a briefing for non-residential Permanent Representatives to the OPCW on Friday 10 November in Brussels. On behalf of the Director-General of the OPCW, the Deputy Director-General, Mr Hamid Ali Rao, updated the representatives on the OPCW’s activities during 2017 and on issues relevant to the upcoming Twenty-Second Session of the Conference of the States Parties (CSP-22).
During the briefing – attended by 25 representatives of 21countries – the Deputy Director-General highlighted major decisions anticipated for CSP-22, which will take place from 27 November to 1 December in The Hague.
At the upcoming CSP, States Parties will review the overall progress in the elimination of chemical weapons stockpiles. CSP-22 is also expected to appoint a new Director-General for the OPCW. In October, the Executive Council recommended, by consensus, Ambassador Fernando Arias, Spain’s Permanent Representative to the OPCW. The next Director-General is anticipated to assume office on 25 July 2018.
The Deputy Director-General described a number of other significant issues to be considered, including: OPCW’s programme and budget for 2018; the Organisation’s work concerning the Syrian Arab Republic; activities of addressing the threat posed by non-State actors; capacity-building through the OPCW Africa Programme; and international cooperation to promote the peaceful uses of chemistry.
The Deputy Director-General thanked the States Parties for their initiatives in marking this year’s twentieth anniversary of the CWC’s entry into force and establishment of the OPCW. To date, 34 events to commemorate the anniversary have been hosted by States Parties around the world, and a further two are planned for the remainder of the year. These events have successfully raised awareness among States Parties and other stakeholders about the mission of the OPCW and the goals of the Convention.
The Deputy Director-General also spoke of next year’s Fourth Review Conference of the CWC, which will be held along with the Twenty-Third Session of the Conference of the States Parties (CSP-23) in 2018.
The Conference of the States Parties is the principal organ of the OPCW and consists of representatives from each of the Organisation’s Member States. It meets annually to assess the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention and to make key decisions regarding the future work of the Organisation.
The Conference of the States Parties oversees the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention, promotes the treaty’s objectives and reviews compliance with the treaty. The Conference is composed of representatives of all Member States of the OPCW, each of which has one vote. The CSP meets annually for one week in The Hague.
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.
Over 96 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.