Asirwatham attends meeting of African CWC states parties

Grace Asirwatham, the deputy director-general of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), recently attended the 12th regional meeting of National Authorities of States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).

Asirwatham joined James Macharia, the health cabinet secretary of Kenya's Ministry of Health, during the inauguration of the meeting on June 4 in Nairobi, Kenya. Forty-seven participants from 30 States Parties in the region attending the meeting, as did four sub-regional organizations and representatives from the U.N. Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute and the European Union.

During her opening statement, Asirwatham discussed the substantial progress made by African States Parties in implementing the CWC. She also highlighted African challenges and need for additional support to implement the CWC across the region. Asirwatham said the annual meeting of National Authorities serves as an important opportunity for States Parties to share best practices and experiences related to CWC implementation.

Asirwatham met with multiple Kenyan government officials on the status of CWC implementation, progress in the destruction of Syrian chemicals and the future direction of the OPCW. She also delivered a lecture at the University of Nairobi's Department of Chemistry that was attended by approximately 150 students, professors and lecturers.