THE HAGUE, Netherlands–15 December 2021–Representatives from OPCW Member States in Latin America and the Caribbean participated in a training course covering legislative and regulatory issues on chemical security held online from 8-14 December 2021.
Aimed at enhancing Member State capacity to develop chemical security legal and regulatory frameworks, the course was conducted in Spanish and English, and addresses the specific needs of Member States in the Latin America and the Caribbean region.
Ms Nichole La Rosa, Legal Officer from the Ministry of Foreign and Caribbean Community Affairs of Trinidad and Tobago, stated: “This training course responds to the needs identified in the Caribbean and Latin America geared towards implementing and strengthening the national legislative framework for chemical security of Member States in this region.”
Participants discussed how implementing legislation on the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) reinforces chemical security, prohibits and penalises illicit activities involving chemical weapons, and establishes a control regime for scheduled chemicals and related facilities. The training covered methods for assessing the risk of chemical threats, as well as on-going voluntary initiatives from the chemical industry to strengthen chemical security.
Participants agreed that the region’s growing chemical industry and trade increases the risk of chemical misuse and heightens the importance of developing appropriate domestic laws and regulations. The course highlighted the need to review and identify gaps in national legal frameworks on chemical security, and to enhance national capacities to address them.
Participants exchanged views on developing domestic regulations and called on the OPCW Technical Secretariat to continue to offer capacity-building support in this area.
Fifty-three representatives from Argentina, Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela participated in the event. Representatives from the International Council of Chemical Associations, International Chemical Trade Association, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and INTERPOL also contributed.
The OPCW’s Implementation Support Branch runs programmes aimed at supporting national implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention, including in the development and adoption of implementing legislation. The programmes include awareness-raising and capacity building activities, such as National Legislative Review Forums and legal workshops.
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.