First Review Conference

The First Review Conference of the Chemical Weapons Convention convened in The Hague from April 28 – May 9, 2003. Representatives from the 151 states party to the convention attended.

The convention is meant to be reviewed periodically by the states parties, and their input taken into consideration to reinforce the effectiveness of its implementation. Review conferences of the CWC held every 5 years provide the main opportunity for states to influence the convention. During the first review conference 29 national position papers and 39 national statements were submitted.

At the First Review Conference progress on the declaration and destruction of chemical weapons and production facilities was reviewed. Also, the need to reinforce the universality of the convention and push every state in the world to become a member of the CWC was emphasized. It has been the goal of the OPCW to bring every nation under the convention by its 10 year anniversary in 2007. One of the principle issues brought to the First Review Conference focused on items or activities that fell outside of the CWC, especially the scientific and technological developments that had taken place since the convention text was originally drafted, and how to incorporate them into the convention. Another principle issue concerned the convention text as it applied to the chemical industry, to ensure that the verification provisions were effective and that the confidentiality and trade secrets would remain protected.

Finally, the conference set strategic guidance for the OPCW in implementing the CWC over the next 5 years.

The full OPCW website for the First Review Conference contains the conference agenda, political declaration, national papers and national statements. The archived official documents from the conference are also available from OPCW. A collection of additional documents, news and analysis related to the Conference have been compiled in the document archive.