The Technical Secretariat of the OPCW is charged with assisting the Conference of the States Parties (Conference) and the Executive Council (Council) in the performance of their functions. It is specifically mandated to carry out the "verification measures" provided for in the Chemical Weapons Convention (Convention), and is also required to carry out other functions entrusted to it under the Convention, as well as any functions delegated to it by the Conference and the Council.
The specific functions of the Technical Secretariat are listed in Article VIII, paragraphs 38 and 39. In addition to the normal responsibilities of the secretariat of an international organisation (e.g. preparing the programme and budget and reports, providing technical and administrative support to the other organs and serving as a channel of communication), the Secretariat is given particular responsibilities in line with the particular nature of the Convention. First and foremost, it is charged with carrying out the verification measures provided for in the Convention. It is also authorised, subject to Council approval, to negotiate with States Parties agreements relating to verification activities, to coordinate the establishment and maintenance of permanent stockpiles of emergency and humanitarian assistance provided by States Parties, and to undertake further duties with respect to the provision of assistance to States Parties.
The Technical Secretariat is comprised of the Director-General, who is its head and chief administrative officer, as well as of inspectors and such scientific, technical and other personnel as may be required. The OPCW Staff Regulations and Interim Staff Rules contain fundamental conditions of service and basic rights, duties and obligations of the Technical Secretariat