Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC)

International Information

International Operation Name: Chemical Weapons Convention

International Mission Name: Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC)

Mandating Organization: Chemical Weapons Convention

Region Name: Europe

Location: Across Europe and North America

Mission Date: 29 April 1997 - Present

Canadian Forces (CF) Information (OPEN VIEW)


Mission Statement: To ensure compliance with the Chemical Weapons Convention

In 1972, international negotiations resulted in the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention. Participants pledged to continue the work by creating a chemical weapons convention; however, it was twenty years before an international agreement was reached and negotiators in Geneva produced the Convention on the Prohibition of Development, Production, Stockpiling and use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction, commonly known as the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). Not until 1997 did the Convention come into force, when 87 original signatories had ratified the Convention. By 2003, there were 152 members who accounted for 90 percent of the world's population and 98 percent of its chemical industry.

As part of the Convention, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) was created, whose role is to implement the Convention. To verify compliance, the OPCW assesses declarations by member nations, conducts on-site inspections and challenge inspections and investigates any reports that chemical weapons have been used. Inspections can occur at military, industrial or research sites, with inspectors drawn from signatories and selected for their expertise. The size of the inspection teams and the length of their inspection depend upon the type of facility under examination. The lengthiest missions are those involving the verification of the destruction of chemical weapons at Chemical Weapons Destruction Facilities.

To date, Canada has participated in 9 missions. Canada has also been inspected once, at the Defence Research Establishment Suffield, Alberta in February 2000.

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