A possible failure by Russia and the United States to meet a 2012 deadline set by the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) for the destruction of chemical weapons stockpiles does not call into question the commitment of states-parties to the eventual elimination of chemical weapons, the current and future chiefs of the treaty’s implementing body said in December.
Rogelio Pfirter of
The Executive Council of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) last month chose Ahmet Üzümcü of
Seeking to avoid the rifts that marked its 2002 election of a director-general, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) member states are aiming to choose a new head at a meeting next month. (Continue)
The likely failure of Russia and the United States, the holders of the world's largest stockpiles of chemical weapons, to meet a key treaty deadline for destroying their stocks is prompting varying responses from experts. In recent public statements and interviews, officials involved in the process emphasized the progress and commitment of the two countries, while independent experts expressed concern about the effect of the missed deadline on the nonproliferation regime. (Continue)
On March 5, the chemical weapons destruction plant at Shchuch'ye in Russia began operating. The plant is a key component of Russia's push to destroy its entire stockpile of agents by 2012, as mandated by the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). Other facilities at Gorny, Kambarka, Leonidovka, and Maradykovsky have already destroyed around 30 percent of Russia's total stockpile of chemical agents, which, at more than 40,000 tons, is the world's largest. (Continue)
A Dec. 2-5 meeting in The Hague of Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) states-parties failed to adopt a consensus final report but agreed on a budget for 2009 and modest measures to reform the treaty's verification system.
The 126 state-parties participating in the conference approved a 74.5 million euro (about $105 million) budget for the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which is implementing the 1993 convention. This marks the fourth consecutive year that the OPCW will have a zero nominal growth budget. (Continue)
Russia and the United States have announced measures to step up destruction of their chemical weapons stockpiles. The Department of Defense plans to speed up construction of the Blue Grass Army Depot in Kentucky and the Pueblo Chemical Depot in Colorado. The two facilities are key to meeting the congressionally mandated destruction deadline of 2017. The fiscal year 2009 defense budget provides $427.5 million to the Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives program, an increase of $20 million from last year. Three U.S. destruction facilities have already completed their task, with four more in Alabama, Arkansas, Oregon, and Utah expected to conclude between 2015 and 2017. Nonetheless, this plan would lead to U.S. chemical weapons stockpiles continuing to exist well beyond the 2012 destruction deadline for all chemical weapons mandated by the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). The United States is a CWC state-party. (Continue)
The United States has completed destruction of chemical weapons agents at Newport Chemical Depot in Newport, Ind. The milestone, announced by the Army Chemical Materials Agency Aug. 11, means that destruction has been completed at three of the seven sites that had housed such agents in 1997 when the United States joined the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). (Continue)
The second review conference for the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) only barely avoided failure. The meeting, which took place April 7-18 in The Hague, had to be suspended at midnight of the last day, and diplomats worked until the early morning of April 19 to reach agreement. (Continue)