Regional trends in the adoption of implementing legislation for the CWC

Dec 06 2012
VERTIC Blog >> National Implementation Measures

Lasha Tvaliashvili with Yasemin Balci, London 

During the Conference of States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) over a week ago, States Parties took note of the latest figures compiled by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) on national implementation of the Convention. Under Article VII of the CWC, States Parties are required to adopt national implementation measures to fulfill their obligations under the Convention in accordance with their constitutional processes (paragraph 1). States Parties are also required to inform the OPCW of the legislative measures they have taken (paragraph 5). In this way, the OPCW is able to gather data on the number of States Parties that have adopted national implementation measures and assess the comprehensiveness of the measures they have taken.

In its report (Overview of the Status of Implementation of Article VII of the Chemical Weapons Convention as at 27 July 2012, EC-70/DG.5, C-17/DG.8, 28 August 2012), the OPCW states that 115 of the CWC’s 188 States Parties have adopted legislative measures, 88 of which have adopted legislative measures that cover all key areas of the Convention (47% of all States Parties). The OPCW analyzes States Parties’ reported legislative measures to assess whether these are sufficiently comprehensive. Key areas consist of multiple areas of law, such as criminal and export control law.
 
In its report, the OPCW gives an overview of the status of implementation in each of its five regional groups:
 
Africa
Of the 50 States Parties of the Africa Group, 23 have adopted implementing measures, 12 of which have legislation that covers all key areas (24%). Of the 27 States Parties that have not adopted any implementing measures yet, four have draft legislation before parliament and 16 have draft legislation pending government approval, but seven have not started work on draft legislation.
 
Asia
Of the 51 States Parties of the Asia Group, 30 have adopted implementing measures, 20 of which have legislation that covers all key areas (39%). Of the 21 States Parties that have not adopted any implementing measures yet, three have draft legislation before parliament and ten have draft legislation pending government approval, but eight have not started work on draft legislation.
 
Eastern Europe
Of the 25 States Parties of the Eastern Europe Group, 23 have adopted implementing measures, 22 of which have legislation that covers all key areas (88%). The two States Parties that have not adopted any implementing measures yet have informed the OPCW that draft legislation is pending government approval.
 
Latin America and the Caribbean
Of the 33 States Parties of Latin America and the Caribbean Group, 12 have adopted implementing measures, 9 of which have legislation that covers all key areas (27%). Of the 21 States Parties that have not adopted any implementing measures yet, five have draft legislation before parliament and 12 have draft legislation pending government approval, but four have not started work on draft legislation.
 
Western Europe and Other States Group
Of the 29 States Parties of Western Europe and Other States Group, 27 have implementing measures in place, 25 of which have legislation that covers all key areas (86%). Of the two States Parties that have not adopted any implementing measures yet, one has draft legislation before parliament and one has draft legislation pending government approval.
 
This overview shows that fifteen years since entry into force of the Convention, national implementation is still lagging behind in most regions. When States Parties convene in four months’ time to hold the Third Review Conference of the CWC in The Hague, national implementation and approaches to increase the number of States Parties with comprehensive legislation will therefore constitute an important agenda item.
 

Last changed: Dec 06 2012 at 7:43 PM

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