The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has for the first time explicitly blamed Syria for toxic attacks, saying President Bashar al-Assad’s air force used the nerve gas sarin and chlorine thrice in 2017.
What is the issue?
The findings came in the first report from a new investigative team set up by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to identify the perpetrators of attacks in Syria’s ongoing nine-year-long civil war.
Almost two years ago, the OPCW confirmed that sarin and chlorine were used in two attacks on the town, but did not name those responsible at the time.
About Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)
OPCW is an intergovernmental organisation and the implementing body for the Chemical Weapons Convention, which entered into force in 1997. It oversees the global endeavour to permanently and verifiably eliminate chemical weapons.
The organization has its headquarters at The Hague, Netherlands.
The organization has 193 member states. (All states party to the CWC are automatically members. 4 UN Member States are non-members: Egypt, Israel, North Korea and South Sudan. Of these Israel signed CWC but didn’t ratified it, rest 3 are non-signatories).
The organisation was awarded the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize “for its extensive efforts to eliminate chemical weapons with most recent being in Syria civil war”.
The OPCW–The Hague Award is an annual award founded by the OPCW as a result of their being presented with the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize. The Award honours individuals and institutions that have significantly contributed towards the goal of a world free of chemical weapons.
The OPCW has the power to say whether chemical weapons were used in an attack it has investigated. In June 2018, it granted itself new powers to assign blame for attacks.
The organisation is not an agency of the United Nations, but cooperates both on policy and practical issues.