THE HAGUE, Netherlands — 29 July 2020 — Thirty-eight representatives from twenty-five Asian Member States met online today for the Eighteenth Regional Meeting of National Authorities organised by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). The meeting focused on regional priorities including the OPCW International Cooperation and Assistance Division’s integrated approach to capacity building, the status of the implementation of Articles VI and VII of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), the recent amendment to the Annex on Chemicals of the CWC, and the Electronic Declaration Information System (EDIS).
The OPCW’s Director of the International Cooperation and Assistance Division, Ms Kayoko Gotoh, highlighted: “This meeting shows how important it is for Asian States Parties to support each other in implementing the CWC, in light of the specific challenges the region faces. The OPCW’s integrated approach to capacity building will help National Authorities fulfil their commitments under the Convention.”
The meeting provided an opportunity for National Authorities to share experiences and updates on their national implementation, and discuss challenges and lessons learned. Participants also emphasised the importance of taking innovative approaches to resolving transfer discrepancies. The OPCW provided participants with a series of video presentations in advance, to reserve as much time as possible during the meeting for focussed and informed discussions with OPCW experts.
Representatives of the following Member States participated: Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, India, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.
The online regional meeting was the second of its kind, following the Nineteenth Regional Meeting of National Authorities of Eastern Europe, held on 28 July 2020.
Regional meetings of National Authorities of States Parties provide a forum in which the States Parties of the region can address various national implementation issues, capacity building programmes and activities organised by the Technical Secretariat and other issues related to the Convention. National Authorities also share good practices and challenges in acting as focal points for effective liaison with the OPCW for national implementation of the Convention.
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 98% 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.