THE HAGUE, Netherlands- 28 November 2021- The Twenty-Seventh Session of the Conference of the States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CSP-27) opened today in The Hague, Netherlands. The session is livestreamed here.
The Conference of the States Parties (CSP) is the principal and plenary organ of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), composed of the OPCW’s 193 Member States. The weeklong annual meeting of the Conference brings together high-level officials from OPCW Member States, as well as representatives from international organisations, the chemical industry, and civil society. The CSP oversees the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), promotes the Convention’s objectives and reviews compliance with the treaty.
“We convene in this Conference in a period of international tensions. The situation in Ukraine has again increased the real threat posed by weapons of mass destruction, including chemical weapons. It has exacerbated existing tensions to a point where unity of the international community on common global challenges, related to international security and peace, cannot be presumed. What once were constructive fora on disarmament and non-proliferation, related to the most dangerous weapons, now have become places for confrontation and disagreement. Despite this, the Organisation continues to deliver and adapts to tackle the new threats and risks,” said OPCW Director-General, Ambassador Fernando Arias, at the opening of the Conference.
The Conference is being chaired by the Permanent Representative of the Republic of South Africa to the OPCW, H.E. Mr Vusimuzi Madonsela, who assumed his duties from the outgoing Chairperson, the Permanent Representative of Norway to the OPCW, H.E. Mr Bård Ivar Svendsen. A number of side events are taking place on the margins of the Conference, focusing on topics related to the CWC.
The OPCW-The Hague Award took place today. This year, the Award recognises three organisations which have significantly contributed to freeing the world from chemical weapons threat.
On Wednesday, 30 November, the Day of Remembrance for All Victims of Chemical Warfare will be observed with a minute of silence. The Conference will reaffirm its commitment to the norm against chemical weapons in all circumstances. In his message for the Day, Director-General Arias underlines the OPCW’s solidarity with victims and its ongoing commitment to exclude completely the possibility of the use of chemical weapons.
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.