Preparatory Commission for the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons

Commission préparatoire de l'Organisation pour l'interdiction des armes chimiques

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Feb 1993, The Hague (Netherlands), the Conference on Disarmament (CD) in Geneva (Switzerland) having adopted, Sep 1992, the text on the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction (CWC). After approval by the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN), the Convention was opened for signature on 13 Jan 1993, at a signing ceremony in Paris (France). The Convention entered into force on 29 Apr 1997, 180 days after the date of deposit of the 65th instrument of ratification. On coming into force of the Convention, the Preparatory Commission then ceased to exist and Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) was established in The Hague, to ensure implementation of the provisions of the Chemical Weapons Convention, including those for international verification of compliance.


Prepare detailed operational procedures and put into place the necessary infrastructure for the permanent agency - the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OCPW), to implement the CWC.

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'Working Group A' - the Group on Programme of Work and Budget - deals with: organizational issues; rules of procedure; staff and financial regulations; preparation of budgets. It includes 5 Expert Groups: Finance; Programme of Work and Budget; Data Systems; Administrative, Financial and Personnel Matters; OPCW Headquarters and other Agreements. 'Working Group B' - the Group on Inspection Procedures - is responsible for development of detailed procedures for verification and technical cooperation and assistance with a view to monitoring compliance with the Convention, covering chemical industry facilities, chemical weapons production facilities, training, equipment, safety procedures, challenge inspections, chemical weapons storage facilities, old and abandoned chemical weapons, technical cooperation and assistance and chemical weapons destruction facilities. It includes 9 Expert Groups: Confidentiality; Inspection Procedures; Training; Chemical Weapons Issues; Chemical Industry Issues; Safety Procedures; Challenge Inspections; Technical Cooperation and Assistance; Old and Abandoned Chemical Weapons. 'Expert Groups' prepare decisions and recommendations subject to approval of the Working Groups and the Preparatory Commission. The Commission organizes regional seminars on national trial inspections and national implementation, and courses and workshops for personnel of national authorities. It developed and set up OPCW Equipment Store and Laboratory, which was inaugurated on 11 Sep 1996, in Rijswijk near The Hague (Netherlands), to support the verification activities of the Chemical Weapons Convention. An 'International Information Project', in cooperation with Harvard Sussex Programme on CBW Armament and Arms Limitation, was agreed in Nov 1993, with the purpose of developing an integrated Guide to the Chemical Weapons Convention.


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Subjects *

  • Fundamental Sciences
    • Chemicals
  • Defence
    • Arms
  • Law
    • Prohibition

UN Sustainable Development Goals **



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* Subject classification is derived from the organization names and aims.
** UN SDGs are linked to the subject classification.

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