THE HAGUE, Netherlands – 1 February 2018 – The second workshop on Schedule 1 facilities, the “Schedule 1 Users Forum” was held at Spiez Laboratory in Switzerland from 22 – 25 January.
The workshop was hosted by the Federal Office for Civil Protection (FOCP) of Switzerland at Spiez Laboratory in collaboration with the Technical Secretariat of the OPCW.
The workshop enabled 43 participants representing the Technical Secretariat as well as practitioners from Schedule 1 facilities from 15 OPCW Member States (Australia, Belgium, China, Czech Republic, France, Finland, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom), The participants discussed various topics such as the objectives, infrastructure and installations of Schedule 1 facilities; safe and secure storage and disposal of Schedule 1 chemicals; and OPCW obligations. The programme concluded with a tour of the laboratory.
The first workshop was hosted in Madrid in January 2014 by the Government of Spain.
Schedule 1 facilities are permitted to produce, process or use Schedule 1 chemicals for purposes not prohibited by the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). These facilities have to declare all their activities twice a year in accordance with the relevant provisions of the CWC. Schedule 1 facilities significantly contribute to protection and to countermeasures against chemical warfare agents and they play an important role in preventing the re-emergence of chemical weapons.
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 ninety-six 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.