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OPCW

 

Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons

 

OPCW was established based on the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction (hereinafter: the Convention) on April 29th 1997 with the entry into force of the Convention. The primary purpose of the OPCW is to destroy any stockpiles of chemical weapons and prohibit the development and use of chemical weapons. The Convention is the first international agreement aimed at disarmament, and with a timeframe set for destructing chemical weapons that has been first and foremost used as weapons of mass destruction. All other signatory states of the Convention are also members of the OPCW with its headquarters in the Hague, the Netherlands.

 

As many as 150 countries signed up to the Convention on January 13th 1993, including the RepublicSlovenia. The National Assembly of the RS ratified the Convention on May 23rd 1997, and has been in force in the Republic of Slovenia since July 11th 1997. Within a mere decade since its entry into force the Convention has attracted as many as 190 member states, around 98% of global population, and is in terms of its member states the fastest growing international organization throughout history. Two countries only signed the Convention, but have failed to ratify it, while 4 countries have failed either to sign it or ratify it which means that one of the key aims of the OPCW remains to bring every single country on board.

 

The competent authority in the RS responsible for the implementation of the Convention is the Ministry of Health/National Chemicals Bureau. The Convention prohibits the development, production, stockpiling and transfer of chemical weapons. Unlike the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction, the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction has a comprehensive verification regime in place.

 

The permanent representative of the RS to the OPCW is ambassador of the Republic of Slovenia in the Netherlands. The OPCW consists of: the Conference of the State Parties, Executive Council and Technical Secretariat.

 

The Conference is the plenary organ consisting of all members of the OPCW. It is the “principal organ of the Organisation”, and has the general power to oversee the implementation of the Convention, and to act in order to promote the object and purpose of the Convention. In this regard, the Conference may make recommendations and take decisions on any questions, matters, or issues within the scope of the Convention. The Council consists of 41 members who are elected by the Conference for a term of two years. Each State Party has the right, in accordance with the principle of rotation, to serve on the Council. The Council is the executive organ of the Organisation and is responsible to the Conference. It is required to carry out all functions and powers entrusted to it by the Convention, as well as any functions delegated to it by the Conference. Technical Secretariat of the OPCW is charged with assisting the Conference of the States Parties (Conference) and the Executive Council (Council) in the performance of their functions. It is specifically mandated to carry out the “verification measures” provided for in the Chemical Weapons Convention (Convention), and is also required to carry out other functions entrusted to it under the Convention, as well as any functions delegated to it by the Conference and the Council. The Technical Secretariat is comprised of the Director-General, who is its head and chief administrative officer, as well as of inspectors and such scientific, technical and other personnel as may be required.

 

The Republic of Slovenia has, based on data on volumes of declared chemicals from companies as transmitted to OPCW Secretariat, successfully undertaken 5 OPCW inspections.