April 29, 2012 will mark the fifteenth anniversary of entry into force of the Convention on Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (CWC), which prohibits chemical weapons’ development, production, acquisition, storage, possession and direct or indirect transfer. By requiring the destruction of stockpiles and production facilities - or their conversion to peaceful purposes - under the supervision of an organization created for this purpose, the CWC is a real instrument of disarmament.
Although eight states remain outside the Convention, the 188 States parties represent 98% of world population and 98% of global stocks of chemical weapons. Since their respective date of accession, all states are progressively fulfilling their obligations with more or less difficulties and more or less successes. If some of them have already implemented their international obligations at a national level, reported, destroyed their stockpiles and converted or destroyed facilities, provided technical and financial assistance to other states, others push back the deadline established by the Convention or granted by the Executive Board: among them, the major possessors of chemical weapons.
As the deadline for the elimination of chemical weapons stockpiles is approaching (April 29, 2012), the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, depositary of the implementation of the Convention’s obligations, must pursue its objectives initial, to rethink its priorities and objectives in order to adapt to new international security challenges, including the risk of proliferation.