OPCW holds African regional meeting in Congo

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons held its 11th regional meeting of African national authorities in the Republic of Congo last week with 60 participants from 27 states parties.

During the meeting in Brazzaville, the Republic of Congo announced it would formally adopt legislation to implement Chemical Weapons Convention practices on a national level. Minister at the Presidency for National Defense Richard Mondjo said the country's president signed the legislation during the meeting.

Mondjo said the elimination of chemical weapons and preventing them from re-emerging are among the nation's leading international policy principles. He urged other states parties in Africa to follow suit in an effort to escape chronic instability and insecurity.

The Republic of Congo and the OPCW co-hosted the meeting between June 4 and June 6 with representatives from the African Union Commission and CWC focal points in the South African Development Community, the North Africa Regional Capability, the Economic Community of Central African States and the East African Community. Focal points in each community contribute to strengthened implementation of the CWC at the regional level.

OPCW regional meetings give representatives the opportunity to discuss issues related to CWC implementation, exchange information, present needs for assistance to the OPCW and indicate which forms of assistance they can provide to other states parties. Participants also recommended ways in which CWC implementation issues in Africa could be incorporated into the work of the participating regional and sub-regional institutions.