THE HAGUE, Netherlands—25 February 2022 —National Authority and chemical industry representatives enhanced their knowledge and skills in preparing declarations and receiving and escorting OPCW inspections during an advanced training course held online from 7 to 25 February.
In her opening remarks, the Head of the OPCW’s Implementation Support Branch highlighted: “The chemical industry is growing rapidly across the globe, with production and trade in chemicals increasing every year. This makes comprehensive implementation of Article VI of the Chemical Weapons Convention even more critical. The international community trusts the OPCW’s robust verification regime to ensure that chemicals are used exclusively for peaceful purposes. Timely and comprehensive declarations from National Authorities and chemical industry partners are essential in preventing the re-emergence of chemical weapons.”
Course participant, Ms Mirna Maravić of the National Authority of Croatia stated: “The course has enabled us to deepen our understanding of State Party obligations under Article VI of the Convention, notably on the effective and timely submission of declarations and the important role of the National Authority during the inspection process.”
The three-week online course combined self-paced learning with interactive live sessions. During the interactive sessions participants and OPCW experts discussed the implementation of Article VI obligations and opportunities to address implementation challenges and issues.
The course was attended by 77 participants from 34 Member States representing every geographic regional group.
States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention have obligations relating to reporting the production of certain toxic chemicals that could be used for chemical weapons purposes. These obligations involve the collection of information and the submission of declarations regarding these chemicals.
Based on the information provided in a declaration, OPCW inspectors may visit the industrial facilities where these chemicals are produced, processed, or consumed to ensure that the declarations are complete and accurate.
As of 31 January 2022, 88 OPCW Member States had submitted declarations for declarable facilities or activities for 2020, involving over 5,400 sites. Since the Chemical Weapons Convention entered into force in 1997, the OPCW Technical Secretariat has conducted more than 4,200 inspections of industrial sites to verify that chemicals are produced and used solely for peaceful purposes.
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 99% 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.