International Chemical Weapons Convention

  • CWC is an arms control treaty which outlaws the production, stockpiling, and use of chemical weapons and their precursors and entered into force in 1997
  • It entered into force on 1997.
  • The full name of the treaty is the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction.
  • The CWC is implemented by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which is headquartered in The Hague.
  • The OPCW receives states-parties’ declarations detailing chemical weapons-related activities or materials and relevant industrial activities. After receiving declarations, the OPCW inspects and monitors states-parties’ facilities and activities that are relevant to the convention, to ensure compliance.
  • The CWC is open to all nations and currently has 193 states-parties.
  • Israel has signed but has yet to ratify the convention.
  • A key non-signatory includes North Korea.
  • Most recently, Palestine deposited its instrument of accession to the CWC.
  • As of October 2016, about 93% of the world’s declared stockpile of chemical weapons had been destroyed.



The Chemical Weapons Convention prohibits:

  • Developing, producing, acquiring, stockpiling, or retaining chemical weapons.
  • The direct or indirect transfer of chemical weapons.
  • Chemical weapons use or military preparation for use.
  • Assisting, encouraging, or inducing other states to engage in CWC-prohibited activity.
  • The use of riot control agents “as a method of warfare.” - International Chemical Weapons Convention