Representatives of the Solomon Islands, Tonga and Tuvalu participated in the 22nd session of the Internship Programme for Legal Drafters and National Authority Representatives at the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague, from 26 – 30 August.
The week-long Internship Programme, conducted by the Technical Secretariat of the OPCW, featured presentations on a range of issues related to implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention including inspections, declarations, as well as the importance of national implementing legislation in addressing emerging challenges, particularly the threat of chemical terrorism.
At the end of the programme, each national delegation produced a draft text of its implementing legislation, as well as an Action Plan for the adoption process of the draft laws. The plan includes follow-up actions and an indicative timeline, which will serve as references for the Technical Secretariat to follow up on the adoption process.
Through the programme, the participants worked closely with the Technical Secretariat’s experts and shared knowledge and experience with other OPCW Member States in similar stages of the implementation process in order to align best practices.
The Internship Programme for Legal Drafters and National Authority Representatives is a one week legal workshop during which participants are equipped with the technical capacity and requisite skills to complete a draft of national implementing legislation and to pursue its adoption when they return to their home country.
Since its inception in 2012, 48 OPCW Member States have participated in the Programme. Among these, Cape Verde, Grenada, Panama, Paraguay, Uganda and Lao People’s Democratic Republic have successfully enacted national legislation, while others are at various stages of the adoption process.
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 97% 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.