Editorial

OPCW and global rivalry

Written by The Frontier Post

The Twenty-Sixth Session of the Conference of the States Parties (CSP) to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) has adopted a decision regarding aerosolised Use of Central Nervous System-Acting Chemicals for Law Enforcement Purposes. The Decision was co-sponsored by 50 OPCW Member States, mostly US’s allies from Europe and South America. According to reports, the OPCW’s Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) recognized that chemicals that selectively modify CNS functions, such as the opioid fentanyl and its analogues, which are considered to be safe when used under controlled medical conditions, can have a very low safety margin when delivered as an aerosol. SAB noted that CNS-acting chemicals do not meet the definition of a Riot Control Agent (RCA), as per Article II of the Convention. According to reports, the Decision only banned the use of aerosolized CNS-acting chemicals for LEAs use and does not affect its uses for other purposes not prohibited under the Convention.

The annual meet up of the States parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) was held in Hague, Netherlands recently. There was a serious tussle between the Russian Federation and its western rivals including the UK and the United States on the contentious issues of poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal in England, poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny and the alleged use of Chemical Weapons by Syrian government against the rebel forces in Syria. The UK and allies had been accusing Russia for using chemical weapons against its political rival Alexei Navalny and defected Intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and tried to fix the responsibility of alleged uses of chemical weapons against Russia to hold it legally accountable. According to reports, Sergei Skripal was targeted with Novichok nerve agent A234, a Military grade chemical, which was developed by the former Soviet Union during the cold war. While the same chemical was used to target Putin’s staunch rival Alexei Navalny allegedly by the Russian Intelligence Services FSB. However, Putin’s aides worked proactively and blocked the western move against their country, whereas the United States and allies remained successful in the passage of another decision to ban production of chemical weapons grade nerve agents in the garb of tools for law enforcement as Riot Control Agent (RCA) being manufactured by various nations of the world including Russia.

In fact, the Chemical weapons convention (CWC) remained the most successful disarmament treaty with respect to elimination of an entire class of weapons of mass destruction around the globe. The OPCW has verified the destruction of more than 98% of all declared chemical weapon stockpiles so far. Due to this reason, the OPCW has received the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize for its outstanding contribution for elimination of chemical weapons in the world.

According to reports, great powers are indirectly involved in production and storage of chemical weapons in third countries and territories which are not a signatory to Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). In fact, the global community is vigorously working to eliminate the weapons of mass destruction from the world, however due to trust deficit between the adversaries, besides tall claims it is impossible that the world competitors remove the entire stockpile of their weaponry in true spirit without keeping an alternative. However, time will judge the level of their sincerity toward global peace and humanity.

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The Frontier Post

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