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Chemical Weapons

Mandate

To work for preventing the re-emergence of "Chemical Weapons", our vision is to increase awareness about "Chemical Weapons" among the general public.

Group Leaders

  • Dr. Nivedita Das Kundu, Chair, nivdk@yahoo.com

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) membership remains at 192 States Parties since Angola’s accession on 16 October 2015.

In 2017, significant progress continued to be made in destroying the remaining declared stockpiles of chemical weapons, enhancing industry verification, expanding international cooperation and assistance, addressing counter terrorism and broadening education and outreach.

In the process of destruction of declared chemical weapons in 2017, the Technical Secretariat (hereinafter “the Secretariat”) verified the destruction of 1,620.889 metric tonnes (MT) of Category 1 chemical weapons. Between entry into force of the Chemical Weapons Convention (hereinafter “the Convention”) and 31 December 2017, the Secretariat verified the destruction of 67,877.6661 MT of declared Category 1 chemical weapons, representing 96.29% of the declared total amount. Destruction operations in the Russian Federation at the only remaining facility at Kizner were completed on 27 September 2017. The United States of America continued to work towards its target date of September 2023 for the complete destruction of its remaining chemical weapons stocks. Progress was also recorded in the destruction of chemical weapons abandoned by Japan on the territory of China. During the year, the Secretariat conducted 11 inspections regarding abandoned chemical weapons (ACW) and seven inspections concerning old chemical weapons (OCW).

The full and effective implementation of the Convention continued to underlie the OPCW’s contribution to global counter terrorism efforts. The Council’s Open-Ended Working Group on Terrorism, and its more technically oriented sub-working group on non-State actors, continued to explore a number of areas in which the OPCW could advance this contribution.

During the last two decades of its journey, the OPCW has performed work and its responsibilities with the utmost sincerity, however, there's a long way to go and we all need to remain vigilant to save the world, maintain peace and reduce the risk to humanity.

Selected issues for inclusion in the Working group discussions and study could be 

Universality -- The fact that four countries remain outside of the CWC (Egypt, Israel, North Korea, and South Sudan), along with two regions (Palestine and Taiwan).

National Implementation -- Many countries still have not fully implemented the CWC domestically (e.g. establishment of a National Authority and criminal legislation for CW use).

Victims' support -- It continues to be very important to help with the needs of victims of chemical warfare and use, including in Iraq and Iran.

Illegal use of chemical agents & weapons -- The importance of determining any illegal use of chemicals, e.g. by Syria, Islamic State, North Korea, Russia, et al, in violation of the CWC, and supporting FFM (Fact-Finding Mission) efforts.  The importance of addressing non-state actors and terrorism.

Accountability -- Determining accountability for any illegal use of CW

Transparency and inclusiveness -- The ongoing need to promote transparency and inclusiveness at the OPCW, including availability of documents and support for non-governmental experts and organizations.

Interagency cooperation -- The importance of working with other relevant multilateral organizations such as the BWC, UN, WHO, et al.

Public outreach and education -- The need  to reach out to the larger public in a comprehensive way, including social media, to make both experts and the general public aware of the importance of the CWC and its universal implementation.  Included here should be industry and academia.  The ABEO (Advisory Board for Education and Outreach) is key here.

International cooperation and assistance -- Implementation of Article X of the CWC, especially to those in need of advice and support for protection against any use of toxic chemicals.

Program for Africa -- The importance of reaching out to help development of technical assistance and advice, as well as education and awareness, throughout the continent.

Science and technology -- The importance of the SAB (Science Advisory Board) for continuing to assess the impacts of S&T on the OPCW's work and the non-proliferation of CW.

Organizational strength -- The importance of maintaining and developing helpful and supportive personnel policies, maintaining expert staff, and reassessing the 7-year tenure policy of the OPCW.

Organizational budget -- Reassessing the annual budget which has dropped over the last decade.

Expert inspectorate -- Reassessing the adequacy of an OPCW inspectorate which is now tasked with ongoing Syria inspections under very difficult conditions.

 

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