OPCW Assists Member States in Safe and Secure Management of Toxic Chemicals

19 August 2020
OPCW Assists Member States in Safe and Secure Management of Toxic Chemicals

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — 19 August 2020 — The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) held an online workshop today, during which participants from twenty-one Member States exchanged best practices in chemical safety and security. The workshop brought together participants from both the Executive Programme on Integrated Chemicals Management and the Chemical Safety and Security Management Programme for African Member States – two programmes offered by the OPCW Technical Secretariat to support implementation of Article XI of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).

Participants representing government agencies, chemical industry, and academia engaged in a comprehensive discussion about responsible chemical management from a broad range of perspectives.

OPCW’s Head of the International Cooperation Branch, Mr Li Zhao, highlighted:  “The OPCW Technical Secretariat has well established programmes on chemical safety and security and continues to develop them to help Member States pursue full implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention. Today’s event provides the latest practical advice and guidance on steps Member States can take to improve the way certain toxic chemicals and their precursors are managed on their territories.”

OPCW experts gave presentations on the auditing of chemical plants and facilities, as well as how to use risk analysis to design prioritised actions plans. A representative from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) shared the Inter-Organisation Programme for the Sound Management of Chemicals (IOMC) toolbox. The toolbox proposes a decision-making framework and enables stakeholders to identify the most effective actions they can take nationally to improve the management of chemicals.

The thirty-four practitioners and experts came from twenty-one Member States: Argentina, Bangladesh, Botswana, Burundi, China, Congo, Costa Rica, Djibouti, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guinea, Kenya, Mauritius, Malawi, Malaysia, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Namibia, Pakistan, Sudan, and Zimbabwe.

Background

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.

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