Angola, UK, OPCW and VERTIC co-organize CWC/BWC universality workshops

VERTIC co-organized joint universality workshops in Angola with the British Embassy to Angola and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. The workshops, which had the objective of advancing Angola’s accession to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BWC), took place on 22 and 23 April in Luanda. Angola is one of eight countries that have yet to join the CWC and one of 26 yet to join the BWC.

The OPCW delegation for the CWC workshop included Mr Mark Albon, Director of the International Cooperation and Assistance Division, and Ms Cristina Rodrigues, Head of the Assistance and Protection Branch. The OPCW press release is here.

The VERTIC delegation for the BWC workshop was led by Mr Scott Spence, VERTIC’s Senior Legal Officer, and included two Portuguese-speaking experts: Ms Renata Dalaqua, Volunteer Consultant to VERTIC, and Mr Francisco Galamas, Researcher at the Ministry of Defence of Portugal/Superior Institute for Security Studies (ISES). Mr Richard Lennane represented the BWC in his capacity as Head of the BWC Implementation Support Unit (UNODA), and gave the keynote speech for the BWC workshop on behalf of the 2013 BWC Chairman, Ms Judit Körömi (Hungary). The workshops are mentioned in UNODA's quarterly publication UNODA Update, which can be read here.

H.E. Mr Georges Chikoti, Foreign Affairs Minister of Angola, opened the joint workshops during the morning of 22 April and confirmed his Government’s intention to accede to both the Biological and Chemical Weapons Conventions. Coverage about his statement is available here in English and Portuguese.

The British, Russian and US ambassadors each gave statements and participated in the workshops along with Angolan officials from the the Humanitarian Demining and Humanitarian Assistance Commission (CNIDAH); National Police; and the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Industry, Interior, Defense, Justice, Transport, Commerce, and Finance (Customs). Ambassador Margarida Izata, Director of Multilateral Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MIREX) chaired the two workshops.

The two workshops shared similar agendas which covered: an overview of each Convention and their main articles, CWC and BWC National Authorities, national implementation, declarations and submission of confidence-building measures, international co-operation and assistance, and the process of acceding to each Convention. A presentation was also given on Portugal’s experience with implementation of the BWC.

Last changed: May 10 2013 at 12:11 PM