Columbia International Affairs Online: Policy Briefs

CIAO DATE: 02/2014

In the Shadow of Syria: Review of the Chemical Weapons Convention

Szymon Bocheński

July 2013

The Polish Institute of International Affairs


A review of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) has concluded that chemical weapons disarmament is on track. However, the information about the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria has added a new sense of urgency to chemical weapons disarmament. It has proven that a global ban on this lethal arms category cannot be achieved without making the CWC a truly universal treaty. At the same time, the Review Conference recognised new challenges associated with the rapid growth of the chemical industry worldwide. The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons will have to find a golden mean to ensure implementation of the Convention without hampering the peaceful uses of chemicals.