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NEWS & VIEWS
The First Conference of the African National Authorities of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) States Parties Held in Khartoum, Sudan, 27-29 August 2003

1. The first regional conference of the African national authorities of CWC States parties was organized in Khartoum, Sudan, from 27th to 29th August 2003 in coordination between the Government of the Sudan and the Organization for the prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

2. The following thirty three States Parties/ organization participated in the conference:

Algeria - Nigeria
Benin – Sao Tonie Principe
Bulkina Faso – Senegal
Burundi – S. Africa
Cameroon – Sudan
Chad – Togo
Cote d’lvoire – Tunisia
Ethiopia – Uganda
Gabon – Zambia
Gambia – Zimbabwe
Ghana – D.R. of Congo
Kenya – Libya
K. of Lesotho – France
Malawi – Romania
Mauritius – United States of America
Morocco – International Committee of the Red Cross
Namibia

The United States of America, the Government of Romania, France, and the International Committee of the Red Cross participated in the Conference as observers.

3. His Excellency the Foreign Minister of the Republic of the Sudan, Dr Mustafa Osman Ismaiel delivered a welcoming statement at the Inaugural session in which he welcomed the Director General of the OPCW, the Heads of diplomatic missions accredited to Sudan, and the delegations participating in the conference, he also reiterated the commitment of the Sudan to join the efforts of the international community for combating all kinds of the weapons of mass destruction including the chemical weapons, and to achieve the universality of the convention.

4. His Excellency the Director General of the Organization Mr. Rogelio Plirter in his statement in the inaugural session emphasized the necessity of achieving the universality of the Convention. He also highlighted the necessity of the establishment of a regional network to promote the object and purpose of the Convention in Africa.

5. The Director General has expressed appreciation and gratitude for the Sudanese Government for hosting the conference and for the generous hospitality. He also commended the role that Sudan has played for the advocacy of the objectives and purposes of the CWC.

6. The conference elected the following bureau, president sudan. Cameroon Nigeria, Algeria, Kenya, Zambia as vice president and South Africa as rapporteur.

7. During the three days National Authorities Conference, various OPCW staff members made presentations on a variety of subjects. These included the status and universality of the CWC, an overview of the CWC, the role of the National Authorities in implementing the CWC, declaration requirements, transfers of the scheduled chemicals, practical implementation of the CWC under Article 6, national implementing legislation, privileges and immunities agreement, assistance and protection, international co-operation.

8. the representatives of all the participating National Authorities as well as the representatives of the two States not yet party to the convention (Chad and Sao tome et Principe), as well as France, Romania and the United States of America (which are Parties from other regions) gave an account of the activities of their National Authorities. All the representatives expressed their thanks and gratitude to the Republic of Sudan for its hospitality and warm welcome.

9. A number of States Parties have requested more technical support from the OPCW for advocacy and implementation activities and capacity building.

10. The delegation of the United States has expressed its readiness to extend technical support for African National Authorities.

11. The conference reiterated the importance of the establishment of a regional network in Africa to promote the purposes and object of the CWC.

12. The conference reiterated the previous Khartoum recommendation to make Africa a chemical weapons free zone.

13. The conference called upon the African countries not party to the CWC to accede to the Convention.

14. The conference called on other States Parties to assist the African countries in the field of peaceful uses of chemistry.

15. The conference reiterated the importance of the provisions of the Convention on providing assistance and protection against the usage or the threat of usage of chemical weapons.

16. All the representatives agreed that the first conference of the African National Authorities was very helpful and successful, and expressed their thanks and gratitude to the OPCW for the support and assistance extended to the African National Authorities.

17. All the representatives reiterated the need for a egal support from the OPCW to develop enforceable regulations and code of practices governing peaceful uses of chemistry.

Participations from African National Authorities agreed to meet on annual bass and to consult among themselves to identity the date and venue of the meeting of 2004. They also requested Sudan to present this summary to the fifth annual National Authorities in The Hague between 17th and 19th October 2003.


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