THE HAGUE, Netherlands — 20 April 2018 — Representatives of National Authorities and other institutions improved their knowledge and capacity to work together to implement the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), during a training held by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) at its Headquarters from 9-13 April.
This large event gathered 72 participants from 54 OPCW Member States, representing all five OPCW regional groups.
The workshop was designed to introduce new officials to the foundations of CWC and the National Authorities’ role in ensuring that the Convention is fully operational at the national level–a process in which these Authorities play a central role.
Participants also engaged in a simulation exercise, practicing how various government institutions should fulfil their responsibilities and coordinate amongst each other.
The training resulted in a list of clearly identified priorities for the process of full national CWC implementation, as well as a repository of tasks necessary for smooth stakeholder coordination by the National Authority. The course further provided an opportunity to set up support networks across professionals and institutions, and to benefit from peer experience.
The course was attended by representatives of Albania, Argentina, Australia, Azerbaijan, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burundi, Canada, Chile, China, Congo, Cote D’Ivoire, Cuba, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gambia, Georgia, Guatemala, Honduras, Indonesia, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Latvia, Madagascar, Maldives, Morocco, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Panama, Pakistan, Qatar, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkmenistan, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, Uruguay and Venezuela.
The General Training Course on the CWC for Personnel of National Authorities and Relevant Stakeholders is an element of a broader educational programme offered by the OPCW to States Parties to enhance their capabilities to implement the CWC on a national level. The program also includes regular meetings of National Authorities from around the world, educational packages about the CWC, implementing legislation related courses and other capacity building events.
As the implementing body for the Chemical Weapons Convention, the OPCW oversees the global endeavour to permanently and verifiably eliminate chemical weapons. Since the Convention’s entry into force in 1997 – and with its 192 States Parties – it is the most successful disarmament treaty eliminating an entire class of weapons of mass destruction.
To date, nearly 95 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.