OPCW Director General Pfirter on Capitol Hill

Tomorrow morning Representatives Edward Markey (D-MA) and Christopher Shays (R-CT) Co-Chairs, Bipartisan Task Force on Nonproliferation will be hosting “Chemical Weapons and Global Security: Implementing the International Chemical Weapons Convention”. The event is co-hosted by Gloabl Green USA, the US Affiliate of Green Cross International and will feature Ambassador Rogelio Pfirter of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). The discussion will take place from 11am-noon in Longworth House Office Building, Room 1116.

According to Global Green USA;

“Pfirter will address the CWC’s successes as well as the major challenges remaining to create a chemical weapons-free world. He will also discuss the forthcoming CWC Five-Year Review Conference taking place in The Hague in mid-April, implications for the US chemical weapons destruction program, which is a decade or more behind schedule, and the US Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) Program and the G-8 Global Partnership, which are aiding Russian CW elimination.”

I plan to attend the meeting and post a summary here later in the day.

Document of the Day – Cheney Opposes CWC

Cheney Letter For the inaugural Document of the Day feature, we have a copy of the letter submitted by former Secretary of Defense, and current Vice President, Dick Cheney to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The letter expresses Cheney’s deep opposition to U.S. ratification of the Chemical Weapons Convention. It was read into the record by former Secretary of Defense James Schlesigner who, along with fellow former Secretaries of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Caspar Weinberger, was present at the Committee hearing to provide testimony against the CWC.

Welcome to the Federation of American Scientists Chemical Weapons Convention Archive!

This website compiles information on the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). There is a timeline and history of the CWC negotiation, signing and entry into force. In addition, there is information about the First Review Conference in 2003 and the accomplishments of the CWC over the past 11 years. The CWC entered into force April 29, 1997 and is celebrating its 10th anniversary with special events in member nations all year. The year will conclude with the Second Review Conference held April 7-18, 2008 in The Hague.

We have specially highlighted the push for U.S. ratification of the CWC, a partisan battle that occupied the Senate in the fall of 1996 and spring of 1997. 11 years later it is interesting to look at the opposition raised to U.S. ratification of the CWC and juxtapose it against the accomplishments of the treaty. FAS has gone through our archives to find letters, petitions and reports from this time period. Many of these documents have not been previously available online and are now archived together in one place.

In addition to the historical material, the document archives also contain current news and commentary on the CWC. During the Second Review Conference of the CWC in The Hague, FAS research associate Cheryl Vos will be on site reporting daily on the proceedings and events of the plenary sessions and open forum.

FAS will be happy to host or link to any additional CWC-related documents or commentary on this site. Contributions and other comments can be sent to Kelsey Gregg.