OPCW Member States Review Progress in Promoting Peaceful Uses of Chemistry through International Cooperation Programmes

3 November 2020
Participants at Article XI Workshop

THE HAGUE, Netherlands–3 November 2020–Ninety representatives of 51 Member States of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) reviewed progress towards implementation of Article XI of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), which provides for international cooperation in economic and technological development and the promotion of peaceful uses of chemistry. The event, the 5th Review and Evaluation Workshop of the Components of an Agreed Framework for the Full Implementation of Article XI, was held online on 2 November.

First Secretary of the Permanent Representation of Malaysia to the OPCW and Interim Facilitator of Article XI, Ms Fadhilah Halimatus Shifa Kusumaningrum, opened the event and remarked: “The workshop’s aim is to advance the full implementation of Article XI – an important pillar of the CWC in its overarching goal to permanently eliminate chemical weapons.” Ms Kusumaningrum went on to reaffirm States Parties’ resolution to promote implementation of the article in line with the Decision adopted by the Conference of the States Parties in 2011. She added: “With rapid scientific and technological advances and an increasing number of unprecedented challenges, implementation of Article XI is becoming even more important. OPCW’s international cooperation programmes on the peaceful uses of chemistry are proving beneficial to Member States in pursuit of that goal.”

During the online workshop, representatives of National Authorities and Permanent Representations to the OPCW learned about the achievements of OPCW’s international cooperation programme. Participants reviewed plans for future programmes and analysed the challenges and opportunities for developing the Technical Secretariat’s Article XI capacity building activities.

The following OPCW Member States were represented during the workshop: Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Bangladesh, Barbados, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, El Salvador, Finland, France, Germany, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mexico, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Rwanda, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Ukraine, the United States of America, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and Vietnam.

Background

The first workshop on Article XI was held at OPCW headquarters in November 2010, where experts and National Authorities gathered to discuss ways for promoting chemistry for peace and security.

Based on the outcomes of the first workshop, four regional Article XI workshops were convened in Asia, Latin American and Caribbean (GRULAC), Eastern Europe and Africa in 2012 and 2013 to review the needs of Article XI implementation in different regions. A further workshop was organised in 2014 to explore ideas that could help develop concrete measures to fully implement Article XI.

The first Review and Evaluation Workshop for Article XI was organised in 2016. The Secretariat annually organises the Review and Evaluation Workshop, which provides a platform for OPCW Member States to discuss the implementation of Article XI.

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.

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