A coalition of state parties from Africa recently voiced their support for adopting provisions of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) into their national legislations during a stakeholders forum.
The forum in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania earlier this month included more than 45 representatives from 11 African member states and featured discussions on relevant mitigation strategies in the legislative adoption process. State parties that already adopted CWC-related laws offered their experiences and advice regarding the processes involved with CWC implementation.
The CWC prohibits the use, development, production, stockpiling and transfer of chemical weapons.
Kesrat Sukasam, head of the Implementation Support Branch of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), said the decision by the state parties was a positive outcome of the forum, which was critical for the CWC’s effectiveness worldwide.
Additional presentations were made by the East African Community, Southern African Development Community, the United Nations 1540 Committee, the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute, and the international NGO Parliamentarians for Global Action.
“It is not only possessor states which bear the responsibility of implementing the convention,” said Job Masima, permanent secretary of the Ministry of Defense and National Service of Tanzania. “The threat posed by chemical weapons’ proliferation affects all nations. We all have to take this danger seriously and ensure that all states possess legislation that allows full and effective implementation of the convention.”