Assistance and Protection Against Chemical Weapons

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Assistance and protection against chemical weapons, their use, or threat of use, in accordance with the provisions of Article X of the Convention.

Offers of Assistance

The 10th Session of the Conference of States Parties with its decision C-10/DEC.8 adopted a format as guidance for submitting information on the kind of assistance made available in accordance with subparagraph 7(c) of Article X. Use of the assistance format is voluntary and does not prejudice the right of States Parties to present this information in another format or to provide other assistance.

Requests for Assistance
Every State Party to the CWC has the right to request assistance from the OPCW in any of the following circumstances: 1) the State Party considers chemical weapons to have been used against it; 2) the State Party considers riot control agents to have been used against it as a method of warfare; or 3) the State Party considers itself to be threatened by actions prohibited by the Convention taken by another country. A request for assistance must be submitted to the Director- General with substantiating information—e.g. on the types of CW alleged to have been used, the extent and time of use, and the effects on humans, animals and vegetation.

Rights and Responsibilities of States Parties

Along with activities related to industry, agriculture, research, medicine and pharmaceuticals, the CWC does not prohibit the development of means of protection against toxic chemicals and chemical weapons. In fact, the Convention explicitly states that all States Parties have the right to conduct research into, develop, produce, acquire, transfer and use means of protection against chemical weapons. Also articulated is the right of States Parties to participate in, and the obligation to facilitate, the fullest possible exchange of equipment, material and scientific and technological information concerning means of protection.

The Role of the Secretariat
The Secretariat is required to establish and maintain a data bank containing freely available information concerning means of protection against chemical weapons. The Secretariat is instructed to provide expert advice and to assist States Parties, upon request, in identifying how to develop or improve the implementation of their national CW protection programmes.

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