THE HAGUE, Netherlands – 18 February 2020 – The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has announced the release of its latest and most modern electronic declaration system. The Electronic Declaration Information System (EDIS), designed for National Authorities and the chemical industry, is an easy-to-use system that further digitalises Article III and Article VI declaration obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and introduces many advanced features.
OPCW’s Director of Verification, Ms Carolyn Browne, stated that EDIS lies at the core of increasing operational efficiency for States Parties. Ms Browne remarked: “The OPCW’s Technical Secretariat is committed to helping States Parties meet their Convention obligations in the most efficient, effective and secure way possible. EDIS represents a major step forward towards the digitalisation of Article III and Article VI declarations.” She added that the software, which has been in development for a year and a half, is built on a modern technological platform specifically designed to be robust, accessible, and scalable for future business requirements.
EDIS offers National Authorities a platform for greater ease of collaboration with industry and enhanced capability to assist States Parties to comply with the Convention’s declaration requirements with the goal of increasing efficiency through achieving paperless status. Mr Marko Banjanin, Verification Business Analyst at the OPCW and the project manager for this initiative, described EDIS as “an example of how the OPCW harnesses secure technologies to empower officers from National Authorities in reaching operational excellence”.
To ensure that EDIS meets the requirements set by the Convention, it provides a bespoke and in-house developed solution. As such, it is an example of how the OPCW is continually assessing secure technology solutions that can support States Parties as they implement their declaration obligations.
Started in August 2018, the EDIS project aims to consolidate Article III and Article VI declaration obligations under one modern web application; enable a distributed use of the system by introducing the possibility of its use by industry for data collection purposes; expand its reach to States Parties by being available in all six official languages of OPCW; and introduce a number of new functions and features (such as automatic declaration package encryption, user management, and two-factor-authentication).
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.