Chemical Weapons Convention Workshop

The on-line workshop “Chemical Weapons Convention Workshop” was held in RACVIAC-Centre for Security Cooperation on 26 February 2021.Workshops focusing on the provisions of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) have been organized annually since 2004 thanks to RACVIAC cooperation with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). The 2021 Workshop was a continuation of fruitful cooperation between RACVIAC and the OPCW in promoting the implementation of the CWC in South-Eastern Europe, which directly helps enhance regional stability, transparency and trust.

The Workshop was opened with a brief welcome address given by RACVIAC Director MG (ret.) Jeronim Bazo, who said that Chemical Weapons Convention Workshop was one of RACVIAC’s most important annual activities and that RACVIAC was delighted to host this Workshop for the eighteenth time so far and for the first time online. After MG (ret.) Bazo delivered his introductory speech, he welcomed and greeted Mr Li Zhao, Head of OPCW’s International Cooperation Branch as well as other excellent presenters from the OPCW: Dr Rohan Perera, (Senior Programme Officer, International Cooperation Branch) and Mr Vaclovas Semaskevicius (Programme Officer, IPB) whose invaluable contribution and cooperation were appreciated very much.

The purpose was to discuss relevant issues related to the CWC and provide a broad overview of the Convention and its implementation procedures with a specific focus on chemical safety and security. Some of the specific Workshop objectives were to inform the participants about the particularities of dual-use chemicals, to be able to understand the chemical threat, threat analysis, chemical safety and security in general and regarding dual-use chemicals in particular, to get familiar with chemical security audit and to gain an understanding of how to better achieve chemical safety and security through implementation thereof.

It is essential to have a complex picture about the issues, the players – multiple agencies, military and civilian – as well as the most burning issues which may affect the present and the future of the CWC/OPCW. There are numerous challenges to be faced in terms of the implementation of the CWC and the prevention of the intentional misuse of chemicals. Chemical safety and security is an essential first step to prevent accidental or intentional misuse of these materials. This year the main focus is put on the issue of “Chemical Security Audit for Dual Use Chemicals”. This Workshop was co-organized with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) as a continuation of the two organizations’ fruitful cooperation in promoting the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) in South East Europe (SEE). It gathered more than 30 participants from 9 countries and 1 international organization.