Dear members and friends,

Late news again (arrived on Friday) of another virtual event (open to the public) has reached us through our global grapevine: news via Vienna of an event in Washington, DC, on May 10/Monday. You may have heard, in the news-media over the last few years, reference to the OPCW – Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. It is not part of the UN system, but it is in the constellation of entities that work with the UN in efforts to establish and advance international norms that comprise the closest thig we have – on a number of crucial issues – to international law. In this case, the effort is to prevent the production and use of chemical weapons and see that any existing stocks are destroyed. This is all laid out in greater detail in what is known as the “Chemical Weapons Convention”. The full, formal name of the Convention contains eighteen words (a).
In recent times, the OPCW has been involved in two particularly controversial issues:
(1) determination that Alexei Navalny (leader of Russia’s political opposition to Putin) was poisoned with an advanced chemical weapon (b);
(2) indications that chemical weapons were used by the Syrian government (c).

The event on Monday the 10th, 10:00-11:30AM, will be a briefing on OPCW’s conference in late April of “states parties” to the CWC. Details follow below. Note that one of four panelists is Canada’s Ambassador, Lisa Helfand, to the OPCW.

Yours, Shane Roberts (President)
National Capital Region Branch (NCRB), United Nations Association in Canada
On behalf of NCRB’s Executive Committee: Tara-Marie Andronek (Past President), Georgina Bencsik, Laura Bradbury, and Madison Kennedy-Jones.

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Reinforcing the Norm Against Chemical Weapons:
The April 20-22 Conference of States Parties to the
Chemical Weapons Convention
Monday, May 10, 2021
10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Eastern Time
via Zoom Webinar

Co-Sponsored by the Chemical Weapons Convention Coalition
and the Arms Control Association

Register Here

At the second session of the 25th Conference of States Parties held in The Hague last month, the member states took several important steps to reinforce the norm against chemical weapons use and to hold Chemical Weapons Convention violators accountable. Foremost among these was the decision to suspend the rights and privileges of Syria under the Convention.

The Chemical Weapons Convention Coalition, in cooperation with the Arms Control Association, will host a briefing to review the results and implications of the 25th Conference of States Parties for the work of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the CWC regime.

Opening Remarks:

H.E. Fernando Arias, Director-General of the OPCW
Amb. Lisa Helfand, Permanent Representative of Canada to the OPCW
Amb. Gudrun Lingner, Permanent Representative of Germany to the OPCW
Dr. Jean Pascal Zanders, independent disarmament and security researcher at The Trench
Dr. Paul Walker, moderator, Coordinator, Chemical Weapons Convention Coalition
A question-and-answer session will follow the panel. To submit a question ahead of the event, email Leanne Quinn at

This event is open to the press and is on the record.

Register Here
The Chemical Weapons Convention Coalition is an independent, international civil society network committed to supporting the aims and universalisation of the CWC. The Coalition’s work is made possible by the support of the Weapons Threat Reduction Program, Global Affairs Canada.

The Arms Control Association is an independent, membership-based organization dedicated to providing authoritative information and practical policy solutions to address the dangers posed by the world’s most dangerous weapons.

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