THE HAGUE, Netherlands—3 June 2022—The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) provided legislative assistance to representatives of the Republic of Malawi during a National Legislative Review Forum held online on 30 May 2022.
Forums of this type provide Member States with the opportunity to review, in close consultation with experts from the Technical Secretariat of the OPCW, their Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) legislative frameworks and/or draft implementing legislation currently being considered for adoption. Ms Angela Nkata, from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Malawi, stated: “This comprehensive training provided us with practical and country-specific advice on setting up a national legislative framework which will ensure full and effective implementation of the CWC at the national level.”.
The Head of the OPCW’s Implementation Support Branch noted: “Through such legal technical assistance activities, the OPCW works to support Member States to ensure that their national legislative framework or draft implementing law fully complies with their obligations under the CWC. Our goal is to equip national delegates with the knowledge and tools to support them to identify potential implementation gaps, while providing practical and tailored advice on how they could address them. Enhancing Member State capacity in this area serves to improve the accuracy of reporting, reduce gaps in national legislative implementation, and in turn strengthen international peace and security.”
The forum was attended by eight delegates from Malawi’s National Authority for the CWC, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Defence and Permanent Representation to the OPCW.
As of 31 July 2021, 22 out of 52 OPCW Member States in Africa had adopted comprehensive national legislation implementing all State Party obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).
Five National Legislative Review Forums have been held since the inception of the initiative in 2020.
The OPCW’s Implementation Support Branch delivers a range of programmes that provide assistance to OPCW Member States to develop and adopt CWC national implementing legislation. This includes awareness raising and sensitisation activities, legal technical assistance workshops and capacity building programmes. The branch also reviews and provides comments on draft national implementing legislation submitted to the OPCW by Member States.
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.