THE HAGUE, Netherlands – 26 November 2020 – The Twenty-Second Annual Meeting of National Authorities brought together 165 representatives from 94 Member States of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). The online meeting, held from 23 to 25 November, enabled National Authorities to share experiences, examples of best practice, and strategies for effective implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).
The Director-General of the OPCW, H.E. Mr Fernando Arias, noted in the opening session: “For more than twenty years, this meeting has been an important forum for fostering cooperation between National Authorities and the Secretariat of the OPCW. This is key to effective national implementation of the CWC.” He added: “The full and effective implementation of the Convention remains a substantial contribution to international peace and security while producing tangible benefits for Member States, including protecting against the diversion of toxic chemicals, building chemical industry capabilities, and developing chemical industries and technologies.”
During the closing session of the meeting, OPCW’s Deputy Director-General, H.E. Ambassador Odette Melono, congratulated National Authorities on their continuing efforts to implement the Convention in challenging times, and expressed: “Lively attendance of this meeting underscores countries’ commitment to enhancing cooperation and the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention.”
The event provided an opportunity for global knowledge-sharing and dialogue. Participants were briefed on the latest OPCW developments and capacity building activities in the areas of verification, peaceful uses of chemistry, national implementation, as well as assistance and protection.
The meeting was attended by representatives from all five OPCW regional groups: Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Western Europe and Others Group.
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.