THE HAGUE, Netherlands — 15 October 2021 – One hundred and thirteen representatives from 52 States Parties met online on 12 and 13 October for the Eighth Annual Meeting of Representatives of Chemical Industry and National Authorities organised by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). The annual event, which has been hosted by the Government of Qatar since its inception in 2014, was held online for the second time.
The Director of International Cooperation and Assistance, Ms Kayoko Gotoh, underscored the importance of collaboration among all relevant national stakeholders, particularly between the National Authorities and the chemical industry, for the effective implementation of the Convention. She stated: “The chemical industry has become an indispensable partner in the implementation of the CWC. As new challenges emerge, including threats to chemical security, chemical industries, regardless of scale, will need to be increasingly engaged.”
Participants discussed regulatory compliance and how to enhance engagement with the chemical industry in the development of regulatory measures. They exchanged information on approaches to awareness-raising and outreach to the chemical industry and ways to enhance the understanding of the Convention at the national level. Some of the approaches cited by the participants included: Specific outreach to small and medium sized chemical enterprises; industry surveys; analysis of customs data; checking company websites and phone directories to identify enterprises that may have declarable activities; publication of newsletters and information materials in the local language; and inclusion of information on the CWC in existing Government or industry association websites.
The Technical Secretariat provided updates on Article VI inspections in light of the current COVID-related restrictions as well as on the revision to the Declarations Handbook. A representative of the International Chemical Trade Association shared information on their outreach to chemical distributors to promote adherence to industry chemical security measures.
Representatives from the following 52 States Parties participated: Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Botswana, Brazil, Cambodia, Cameroon, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Finland, Georgia, Germany, Guyana, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Italy, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Mexico, Morocco, Myanmar, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Spain, Sudan, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, 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.