THE HAGUE, Netherlands — 28 July 2020 — Representatives from ten Eastern European Member States met online today for the Nineteenth Regional Meeting of National Authorities organised by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). The meeting focused on reviewing the region’s priorities for capacity building support, based on an analysis prepared by the OPCW Technical Secretariat, the recent amendment to the Annex on Chemicals of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), and the status of implementation of national legislation.
The OPCW’s Director of the International Cooperation and Assistance Division, Ms Kayoko Gotoh, highlighted the importance of developing a shared understanding of regional priorities and capacity building needs. Ms Gotoh also expressed: “We look forward to this meeting contributing to increasing awareness among participating National Authorities of practical steps they can take to enhance national and regional implementation of the Convention.”
Participants were encouraged to fully adopt the Electronic Declaration Information System (EDIS), a software for National Authorities to create and submit their declarations required under the CWC. The meeting also provided participants an opportunity to increase their knowledge of EDIS and share their experiences of using the system.
The National Authority representatives also took advantage of the opportunity to exchange experiences and best practice at a regional level. Representatives of the following Member States participated: Albania, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Georgia, Hungary, Latvia, Montenegro, Romania and Serbia.
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.