Worldwide Governmental Efforts to Locate and Destroy Chemical Weapons and Weapons Materials

Minimizing Risk in Transport and Destruction


Address for correspondence: Ralf Trapp, Rte des Closets, F-74270, Chessenaz France. Voice: ++3170-416-3770; fax: ++3170-416-3792.


Abstract: The article gives an overview on worldwide efforts to eliminate chemical weapons and facilities for their production in the context of the implementation of the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). It highlights the objectives of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), theinternational agency set up in The Hague to implement the CWC, and provides an overview of the present status of implementation of the CWC requirements with respect to chemical weapons (CW) destruction under strict international verification. It addresses new requirements that result from an increased threat that terrorists might attempt to acquire or manufacture CW or related materials.The article provides an overview of risks associated with CW and their elimination, from storage or recovery to destruction. It differentiates between CW in stockpile and old/abandoned CW, and gives an overview on the factors and key processes that risk assessment, management, and communication need to address. This discussion is set in the overall context of the CWC that requires the completion of the destruction of all declared CW stockpiles by 2012 at the latest.