National authorities of the OPCW Eastern Europe region strengthen their cooperation
Representatives of national authorities from 20 Eastern European member states of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) exchanged views on recent actions, best practices and future needs and priorities related to the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) during their 20th regional meeting, held online June 2-3.
The Head of the OPCW’s Implementation Support Service, Ms. Beatrix Lahoupe, said: “While there is steady progress in the implementation of the Convention, much remains to be done to achieve a world free of chemical weapons, prevent the reappearance of these weapons and address the threat posed by non-state actors. Close cooperation between national and regional CWC stakeholders is an important catalyst for collective efforts to address these serious challenges. “
The meeting allowed national authorities to share their views on electronic tools facilitating reporting obligations under Article VI of the Convention – “Activities not prohibited under this Convention”. The topic was of particular interest to the attendees given the advanced chemical industry and commercial sector in the region. Other topics included chemical safety and security and the role of women in their management, and the use of the protection and assistance database – a tool that facilitates Article X reporting. CWC, Chemical Weapons Assistance and Protection, and contains freely available information. concerning the means of protection against these weapons. Participants also learned about the progress of the construction project for the new OPCW Center for Chemistry and Technology.
The inspector of the National Office for Nuclear Safety representing the Czech National Authority, Mr. Tomáš Strnad, said: “One of my main tasks is the improvement and integration of new flexible tools for the implementation. implementation of the CAC. I look forward to having the opportunity to learn about the latest developments in this area and to exchange experiences with my colleagues from other national authorities. The agenda reflected well our current needs and priorities. Direct and personal interaction is essential when discussing details and technical issues.
Twenty-six representatives from the following 20 Member States attended the event: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Montenegro, Poland, Moldova, Romania , Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine.
As the implementing body of the Chemical Weapons Convention, the OPCW, with its 193 member states, oversees the global effort to eliminate chemical weapons permanently. Since the entry into force of the Convention in 1997, it has been the most effective disarmament treaty eliminating a whole category of weapons of mass destruction.
Over 98% of all declared chemical weapons stockpiles have been destroyed under OPCW verification. For its considerable efforts in eliminating chemical weapons, the OPCW received the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize.