Picture taken on October 30, 2013 shows employees in protective gear holding a dummy grenade during a demonstration in a chemical weapons disposal facility in northern Germany. (Photo: AFP)
THE HAGUE, Nov. 27 (Xinhua) -- The ongoing 24th Session of the Conference of the States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) has adopted two decisions to amend for the first time the Annex on Chemicals to the Convention.
"The two decisions adopted reflect proposals that were submitted in the context of an evolving threat from chemical weapons and their recent use," said a press release Wednesday from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the implementing body for the CWC, headquartered in The Hague.
"Such conditions have led to the need to update the Schedules of the Annex on Chemicals," said the press release.
According to the OPCW, the first decision was jointly proposed by Canada, the Netherlands and the United States, while the second was proposed by Russia. "Both decisions call for technical changes to Schedule 1 of the Annex on Chemicals to the CWC."
OPCW Director-General Fernando Arias recognized the importance of these amendments. "This is the first time in its history that the Chemical Weapons Convention's Annex on Chemicals has been updated," he stated. "This is an important development that demonstrates the adaptability of the Convention to changing threats while enhancing the OPCW's ability to remain vigilant, agile, and fit for purpose."
The Annex on Chemicals includes three Schedules that list toxic chemicals and their precursors. For the purpose of implementing the Convention, these Schedules identify chemicals for the application of special verification measures according to the provisions of the Convention's Verification Annex.
The CWC entered into force in 1997 to ban the development, production, use, stockpiling and transfer of chemical weapons. The Conference of the States Parties (CSP), the principal organ of the OPCW, meets annually and oversees the implementation of the CWC, promotes the treaty's objectives and reviews compliance with the treaty. This year's session takes place in The Hague from Nov. 25 to Nov. 29.