Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
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Related to Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons: Chemical Weapons Convention, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe
Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons(OPCW), international body (est. 1997) responsible for the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), which aims at the destruction of all chemical weapons. The CWC was adopted in 1992 and came into force in 1997. The OPCW, a relatively small, autonomous organization that has a working relationship with the United Nations, has 190 member states (which have acceded to or ratified the CWC), and oversees the destruction of existing chemical weapons stockpiles and works to prevent the use of such weapons throughout the world. Among its activities have been the destruction of stockpiles in Iraq, Libya, and Syria, the last occurring in the midst of a civil war, and the confirmation of chemical weapons usage in Syria and elsewhere. The OPCW was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2013. In 2018 member nations voted to authorized the organization to apportion blame for a chemical attack in addition to confirming the occurrence of such an attack. See also chemical warfarechemical warfare,
employment in war of incendiaries, poison gases, and other chemical substances. Ancient armies attacking or defending fortified cities threw burning oil and fireballs. A primitive type of flamethrower was employed as early as the 5th cent. B.C.
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