An Assessment of Efforts to Reform the Implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention
Tokola, Kevin Mark
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The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) was the culmination of decades of negotiations and compromise. Compromises, changes in the security environment, and the ambitious nature of the CWC as meant that the implementation of the CWC has been uneven. Some objectives, such as chemical weapons disarmament, has been prioritized over other objectives. Weakly enforced objectives, such as non-proliferation and enforcement, have instead been enforced through unilateral means and informal international security arrangements. As the destruction of declared chemical weapons is nearing its completion, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has realized its need to reprioritize its objectives. This is being informed through practical experiences, a realistic assessment of the organization’s capabilities, and the balancing of the needs of individual States Parties. Reforms, and suggested reforms from the OPCW, have mostly been half-measures but include transformations of the OPCW which demonstrate a desire to stay relevant to the norm against chemical weapons.