Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


What is the OPCW and what does it do?

11 October 2013, 15:31

The Hague - The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons who won this year's Nobel Peace Prize on Friday have been working for years to rid the world of chemical arsenals.

The organisation was thrust into the spotlight when it was required to oversee the destruction of chemical weapons in Syria, but it has been working since the 1990s as the body that implements the Chemical Weapons Convention, the first international treaty to outlaw an entire class of weapons.

The convention prohibits the development, production, acquisition, stockpiling, retention, transfer or use of chemical weapons. It came into force in 1997 and has been ratified by 189 states.

Of those, seven - Albania, India, Iraq, Libya, Russia and the United States, along with a country identified by the OPCW only as "a State Party" but widely believed to be South Korea - have declared stockpiles of chemical weapons. These include mustard gas and nerve agents like sarin and VX.

Syria is due to become a member state of the organization on Monday and has acknowledged having chemical weapons. Non-signatories to the treaty include North Korea, Angola, Egypt and South Sudan. Israel and Myanmar have signed but not ratified the convention.

Stockpile destruction

The OPCW has conducted more than 5 000 inspections in 86 countries. It says 100% of the declared chemical weapons stockpiles have been inventoried and verified.

According to its statistics, 57 740 metric tonnes, or 81.1%, of the world's declared stockpile of chemical agents have been verifiably destroyed. Albania, India and "a third country" - believed to be South Korea - have completed destruction of their declared stockpiles. An OPCW report released earlier this year said the United States had destroyed about 90% of its stockpile, Russia had destroyed 70% and Libya 51%.

Thirteen OPCW members have also declared a total of 70 chemical weapons production facilities. The organization says all 70 have been taken out of commission including 43 destroyed altogether and 21 converted to peaceful purposes.

The OPCW is funded by its member states and had a budget of some 74 million euros in 2011. It employs some 500 people in The Hague. The director-general is Turkish diplomat Ahmet Uzumcu.

- AP


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...