UNODA staff visits Luanda to support Angola's accession to CWC and BWC

Staff from the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs visited Angola officials in Luanda in April to discuss their accession into the Biological Weapons Convention and Chemical Weapons Convention.

After much advocacy from government bodies, the Angolan Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosted a workshop in Luanda to discuss the implementation of the country's adoption of the CWC and BWC. The county was one of the few whom did not belong to the conventions and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Angola Georges Chikoti confirmed the nation's intention to accede to both in April.

The Head of the BWC Implementation Support Unit in UNODA, Richard Lennane, and representatives from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the Verification Research, Training and Information Centre met with Angola leaders to discuss purpose, benefits, obligations and functions of the treaties.

Angola participants included representatives from the national police, industry, justice, transport, trade, defense, foreign affairs and finance sectors. Attendees asked detailed questions about the treaties to better understand their obligations and the benefits they would hold for the nation.

"While we do a lot of important work on universality and implementation of disarmament treaties with diplomatic representatives in Geneva and New York, sometimes there is no substitute for visiting a capital for in-depth discussions with officials from the relevant ministries," Lennane said. "As UNODA is a small office, to conduct these kinds of visits we depend on close cooperation with partners like OPCW and VERTIC, as well as governments of member states."