THE HAGUE, Netherlands –8 November 2018– National Authorities (NAs) from 120 Member States of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) identified their priority capacity building needs to facilitate the global implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), at the Twentieth Annual Meeting of National Authorities held in The Hague from 6-8 November.
OPCW’S Director-General, H.E. Mr Fernando Arias, in his opening remarks stated that developing countries require assistance and underlined that OPCW support “aids them in overcoming the gaps in implementation, allowing the fulfilment of their responsibilities and the enjoyment of their rights”.
The Director-General also stressed the key role of the OPCW Member States, “They, themselves, must take the necessary steps to embed the Convention and its programmes into their national legal and administrative systems”.
Over the three-day gathering, more than 148 participants explored capacity building plans in areas such as: national implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC); assistance and protection against chemical weapons; and economic and technological development in the field of chemistry. Special attention was paid to the sustainability of results and national ownership of training programmes.
The attendees were briefed on the recent developments related to toxic chemicals and their precursors used for purposes not prohibited under the Convention (Article VI). Also discussed was the decision adopted during the Special Session of the Conference of States Parties in June on addressing the threat from chemical weapons use and the future direction of the Organisation as it prepares for the upcoming Fourth Review Conference.
The meeting provided an opportunity for National Authority representatives to hold bilateral consultations with OPCW officials about on-going challenges to CWC implementation and ways to overcome them.
The meeting was attended by representatives of all five OPCW regional groups: Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, Western Europe and other States.
As the implementing body for the Chemical Weapons Convention, the OPCW, with its 193 Member States, oversees the global endeavour to permanently eliminate chemical weapons. Since the Convention’s entry into force in 1997, it is the most successful disarmament treaty eliminating an entire class of weapons of mass destruction.
Over 96% 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 Peace Prize.