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Vol. 25 No. 1
January - February 2003

The Project Place | Information about new, current, and completed IUPAC projects and related initiatives
See also www.iupac.org/projects

Impact of Scientific Developments on the Chemical Weapons Convention

As the leading international, non-governmental organization devoted to the chemical sciences, IUPAC was asked to undertake a review of the impact of scientific developments on the Chemical Weapons Convention. This project included the organization of a workshop, held in Bergen, Norway, from 1–3 July 2002, to explore these issues. Between 80–100 persons attended the workshop. An International Advisory Board, with representation from 17 countries, aided the Program Committee in formulating the program and obtaining the best international scientific input.

In November 2002, as an output of this project, IUPAC provided to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons a report in which scientific and technological advances in the chemical sciences are evaluated. This report is expected to assist the OPCW and the States Parties in preparing for the First Review Conference of the Convention, scheduled for The Hague in April 2003.

Of the "weapons of mass destruction"—biological, chemical, and nuclear—only chemical weapons have a multilateral verification regime. The IUPAC report comes against a backdrop of international concern about potential use of chemical weapons by terrorists or by rogue nations. The report—available on the IUPAC Web site—highlights developments in organic synthesis and changes in chemical plant design that will pose new challenges to the Convention, but it also describes recent and probable future developments in analytical chemistry that may assist in implementation of the Convention. The key issues identified at the workshop are given on page 4 of the report. IUPAC’s findings and observations are summarized in 18 points on pages 5–8.

For more information, contact the Task Group Chairman Edwin D. Becker <tbecker@nih.gov>.

www.iupac.org/projects/2001/2001-057-1-020.html


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