Non‐governmental CWC coalition formed, includes VERTIC

In an alliance involving VERTIC, dozens of non‐governmental organisations from around the world are forming a partnership, known as the Chemical Weapons Convention Coalition, to promote the elimination of chemical weapons and prevent their use by terrorists. The coalition’s mission statement declares that the work of the alliance is to support the ban on chemical weapons through ‘focused civil society action aimed at achieving full membership of the CWC’ in addition to three other goals: the ‘safe and timely elimination’ of chemical weapons; the prevention of their misuse for ‘hostile purposes’; and the promotion of their use for peaceful ends. The coalition hopes to attract around 100 groups by the end of this year. ‘The CWC is often considered to be the most successful of the WMD treaties, and that is arguably the case,’ writes VERTIC’s Angela Woodward in a January 2010 Global Security Newswire article. ‘But there remain certain significant problems with the convention which states parties have utterly failed to deal with, such as non‐compliance issues (like ‘non‐lethal weapons’) or instigating the on‐site inspection mechanism. When states parties, and the membership organisation they created for the convention, cannot deal with these problems, it is civil society’s responsibility to air these problems and constructively work towards finding solutions to them.’ The CWC, which came into force in 1997, currently has 188 member states.

– David Cliff, London