As chemistry is one of the key sectors of global economic development, the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) promotes international cooperation as one of its pillars by encouraging the exchange of knowledge and expertise in the field of chemistry.
To contribute to this goal, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) held an online Analytical Skills Development Course to enhance skills in the analysis of chemicals relevant to the CWC, and to share knowledge on laboratory best practices.
The course was held online from 25 to 29 April 2022 in partnership with the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research – Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (CSIR-IICT) in Hyderabad, India, and targeted analytical chemists and chemical professionals from OPCW Member States with economies that are developing or in transition.
The Head of India’s National Authority for the CWC, Dr Sudhanshu Gupta, said in his opening remarks: “The ASDC course serves as an important capacity building tool in enhancing analytical capacities of participating chemistry professionals for advancing full implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention in OPCW States Parties. I welcome the sustained efforts undertaken by OPCW in strengthening the global regime against the chemical weapons and thank CSIR-IICT for its active contribution towards the organisation of this course.”
The OPCW representative underlined: “The Analytical Skills Development Course serves as an essential learning tool in the portfolio of capacity building courses offered by OPCW. Specialized trainings like this will help with better equipping qualified chemists, from countries that are developing or in transition, in analysing chemicals related to national implementation of the Convention, and in turn help contribute towards the strengthening of laboratories in these Member States. We are pleased to be able to deliver these programmes together with our partners to advance implementation of the Convention.”
Through this course, participants also gained insights on Gas Chromatography (GC) and Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) as well as derivatization techniques and methods of chemical sample preparation and analysis.
The course was attended by 19 participants from 18 OPCW Member States: Algeria, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, China, Iraq, Namibia, Nigeria, Malaysia, Morocco, Pakistan, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Syria, Thailand, Tunisia, and Uganda.
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.