Africa and the Chemical Weapons Convention

With 188 states parties, the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) is one of the most successful international treaties and the 3rd Five-Year Review Conference of the Convention is scheduled for April 2013. The near-universalisation of the CWC in Africa is a testament to the continent’s commitment to ensuring that the misuse of dangerous chemicals does not happen either in Africa, or anywhere else in the world. There are, however, still challenges. As the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) shifts its focus away from chemical weapons disarmament to one that concentrates on non-proliferation and international co-operation and assistance, adjustments to the mandate, programmes and approaches given to the OPCW by its Member States will need to be made. As a way to improve effective national implementation of the CWC in Africa, thereby creating the essential conditions for providing reliable non-proliferation assurances, and addressing new challenges faced by States Parties of the Convention, this paper proposes a number of recommendations for the OPCWA shorter version of this article was published in the Non-Proliferation Monthly Special Issue on the CWC 3rd Review Conference (2013/11).

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