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Project

 

Number: 2006-036-1-020

Title: The impact of advances in science and technology on the
Chemical Weapons Convention

Task Group
Chairman
: Leiv Sydnes

Members: Ted Becker, Jo Husbands, and Ralf Trapp

Completion Date: 2008 - project completed

Objective:
To prepare an assessment of the impact of developments in science and technology on the operation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), as a contribution to the Second Review Conference of the CWC to be held in spring 2008. This assessment will be based on the outcomes of a workshop to be held in Zagreb, Croatia, 22-25 April 2007. IUPAC is in a unique position to tap into a broad background of scientific expertise through its Divisions and constituent national Chemical Societies and Science Academies. Based on the Bergen experience [project 2001-057-1-020], the project will provide valuable input for the review process of the Member States of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

Description:
In spring 2008, OPCW will convene its Second Review Conference - a diplomatic conference to be convened every 5 years to review the operation of the Chemical Weapons Convention ("the Convention"). As stipulated by the Convention, one key objective of such reviews is to evaluate the impact of advances in science and technology on the Convention.

The purpose of the proposed project will be to contribute to this review of advances in science and technology, by bringing together the expertise available to IUPAC and the OPCW. IUPAC will be able to reach into the experience and knowledge about advances in chemical research and production that resides its Divisions and constituent societies and academies on a global scale. The OPCW will contribute the expertise resident in its Scientific Advisory Board and the governments of CWC Member States. The chemical industry will also be involved in this process.

The three-day workshop in Zagreb will feature a number of talks in areas such as Advances in Chemical Synthesis, Chemical Production Technology, Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Chemical and Biomedical Analysis, and Medical Countermeasures. Much of the time will be devoted to break-out discussion sessions, where four groups, each of about twenty participants, will discuss the implications of these advances for the Chemical Weapons Convention. A final plenary session will assemble the views of participants as the basis for a report to OPCW. Speakers, commentators, and other participants are being invited as the program is finalized.

A workshop Secretariat has been established at the US National Academies by Drs. Jo Husbands and Katherine Bowman [KBowman@nas.edu]. Local arrangements for the workshop are being handled by Dr. Danko Skare and a number of colleagues in Zagreb.

The result will be a report by IUPAC that will be made available to the OPCW and its Member States in time for their preparations of the Second CWC Review Conference. Plans are being made for publication of a summary report and extended abstracts of the lectures in Pure and Applied Chemistry.

Background information on the Chemical Weapons Convention is available at www.opcw.org.

Progress:
May 2007 - As planned, a workshop on "The impact of advances in science and technology on the Chemical Weapons Convention" was held in Zagreb, Croatia, 22-25 April 2007. Sixty-eight participants, from 30 countries, came from government, chemical industry, chemical research institutes and universities, including 17 representatives of government departments, government laboratories and National Authorities. Twenty-two speakers and commentators described the challenges facing the CWC and presented information on topics ranging from advances in organic synthesis, drug development in the post-genome era, use of nanoparticles, and aerosol drug delivery to the impact of the internationalization of the chemical industry and the potential for use of microreactors to produce large amounts of chemicals in a setting that might be difficult to recognize as a chemical plant.

All attendees participated in a four breakout sessions, where small groups explored the impact of material presented in lectures on future threats to the CWC. They formulated guidance on ways that technological advances might help in enforcement of the CWC and in possible treatment of casualties from possible use of chemical weapons on civilian populations.

> Workshop homepage
<http://www7.nationalacademies.org/IUPAC-OPCW_Workshop/>

A report on the outcomes of the workshop and the conclusions to be drawn is being prepared for submission in July to the OPCW and its 182 member states.

Jan 2008 - Project completed - IUPAC Technical report published in Pure Appl. Chem. 80(1), 175-200, 2008.

Last update: 15 January 2008

<project announcement published in Chem. Int. Jan -Feb 2007, p. 22>

 

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