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Syria has likely used chemical weapons 17 times: OPCW

Topics Covered: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.

Syria has likely used chemical weapons 17 times: OPCW:


Context:

The head of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons told the UN Security Council that its experts have investigated 77 allegations against Syria, and concluded that in 17 cases chemical weapons were likely or definitely used.

Background:

Syria was pressed to join the Chemical Weapons Convention in September 2013 by its close ally Russia after a deadly chemical weapons attack that the West blamed on Damascus.

About OPCW:

  1. It is an international organization established by the Chemical Weapons Convention, 1997 to implement and enforce the terms of the non-proliferation treaty, which prohibits the use, stockpiling, or transfer of chemical weapons by signatory states.
  2. By the 2001 Relationship Agreement between the OPCW and the United Nations, the OPCW reports on its inspections and other activities to the UN through the office of the Secretary General.
  3. The organisation was awarded the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize “for its extensive efforts to eliminate chemical weapons”.

Powers:

  • The OPCW is authorized to perform inspections to verify that signatory states are complying with the convention.

The Chemical Weapons Convention prohibits:

  1. Developing, producing, acquiring, stockpiling, or retaining chemical weapons.
  2. The direct or indirect transfer of chemical weapons.
  3. Chemical weapons use or military preparation for use.
  4. Assisting, encouraging, or inducing other states to engage in CWC-prohibited activity.
  5. The use of riot control agents “as a method of warfare.”

 

Insta Curious:

Did you know? India’s Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has been chosen as the external auditor by the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) for a three-year term starting 2021. Read here, 

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About OPCW.
  2. What is CWC?
  3. Members.
  4. Functions of the executive council.
  5. Roles and functions of the external auditor of OPCW.

Mains Link:

Write a note on the chemical weapons convention.

Sources: the Hindu.