The 103rd session of the Executive Council of the OPCW took place from 11 until 13 July 2023. Ambassador Schieb affirmed Germany’s solidarity with Ukraine and condemned Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. He called on Russia to comment on the alleged use of riot control agents (RCA) in the Ukraine by Russian military forces. Russia’s state TV had reported on such an incident. If confirmed, such a use would constitute a violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention which prohibits the use of RCA as a method of war.
Syria continues to evade any responsibility for the use of chemical weapons – even though nine incidents have been confirmed by UN and the OPCW – and blocks investigations by the OPCW. Jointly with like-minded States Parties we reiterated our criticism and called on Syria to fully cooperate with the Technical Secretariat of the OPCW.
This session of the Executive Council also focused on the follow-up to the 5th CWC Review Conference which took place in May 2023. In this context Ambassador Schieb pleaded for a more regular and more substantial exchange with civil society; a discussion on how this interaction could be improved would start shortly. Germany would remain engaged on this topic as well.