14 December 2015- The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) held the 20th Session of the Conference of the States Parties (CSP) from November 30 to December 4 2015 at the World Forum in The Hague. The CSP is the plenary organ consisting of 192 States Parties, the newest members of which are Angola and Myanmar. The CSP oversees the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention. The CSP-20 was chaired by Mexican Ambassador Eduardo Ibarrola-Nicolin.
Among the discussions undertaken during the Conference included the implementation of Article VII pertaining to national implementation measures, implementation of the CSP and Executive Council decisions on destruction-related issues, additional guidelines on the designation of laboratories for the analysis of authentic samples, the status of implementation of the International Support Network for victims of chemical weapons, the OPCW programme and budget for 2016, fostering of international cooperation for peaceful purposes in the field of chemical activities, ensuring the universality of the Convention, the OPCW Programme for Africa, engagement with the chemical industry and the scientific community, and other administrative matters.
Philippine Ambassador Jaime Victor B. Ledda of the Philippines led the Philippine Delegation composed of embassy personnel and representatives from the Philippine Anti-Terrorism Council/Program Management Center (ATC/PMC). Ambassador Ledda delivered a national statement apprising the Conference of the signing of Republic Act 10697 or the Strategic Trade Management Act on November 13, 2015. This law is a step forward for the Philippines in controlling the entry of and trade in chemicals in the territory. END