THE HAGUE, Netherlands–24 November 2020–The Seventh Annual Meeting of Representatives of Chemical Industry and National Authorities was convened by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) from 17 to 18 November. The central theme of this online meeting was how chemical industry and National Authorities could more effectively collaborate on the successful implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).
The Director-General of the OPCW, H.E. Mr Fernando Arias, addressed the opening session of the meeting via a recorded video message. He remarked: “I cannot overstate the importance of collaboration between chemical industry and National Authorities. Fostering collaboration enables National Authorities and chemical industry to understand their respective roles and responsibilities and to develop more efficient working practices.”
The Deputy Chairman of the Qatar National Authority, Lt Col Rashid Al-Naimi, stressed in his opening remarks: “The importance of this Annual Meeting, which Qatar has hosted since 2014, lies in its capacity to bring together representatives of the two pillars that are so necessary for the optimal implementation of the Convention – National Authorities and chemical industry.”
Participants shared experiences about the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on national implementation of the Convention. Discussions also covered ways of enhancing the resilience of the industry verification regime (Article VI) and cooperation between stakeholders. Representatives from the International Council of Chemical Associations and the International Chemical Trade Association provided insights into addressing pandemic-related verification challenges from a global industry and trade perspective.
Seventy participants attended the event, including 16 chemical industry representatives from the following 38 OPCW Member States: Bangladesh, Brazil, Burundi, Cambodia, China, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cote D’Ivoire, Croatia, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Kenya, Lebanon, Malaysia, Maldives, Mexico, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Philippines, Qatar, the Republic of Korea, the Sudan, Tajikistan, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the United States of America, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam.
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 declared chemical weapon stockpiles have been destroyed under OPCW verification. For its extensive efforts in eliminating chemical weapons, the OPCW received the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize.