§ Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean
Since entry into force of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) on 29 April 1997, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has put in place a rigorous inspection regime to ensure full and effective compliance with the provisions of the treaty. One hundred and eighteen countries have so far ratified the CWC, and the UK aims to achieve a treaty with universal adherence. To this end, we initiated a series ofdémarches world wide during our EU Presidency earlier this year.
The CWC Act of 1996 provides the legislative framework for implementation of the Convention in the UK, with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) acting as the national authority. The DTI has successfully overseen the 18 OPCW inspections which have so far been received by the United Kingdom, all of which have passed off without problems.