Securing Our World: Countering Chemical Terrorism in the Age of New Technologies

On November 27, 2023, the Twenty-Eighth Session of the Conference of the States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CSP-28) opened in The Hague, Netherlands. This five-day meeting discusses various aspects associated with implementing the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), which has been in effect since April 29 1997. Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is responsible for fulfilling the Convention’s mandate.

AJEY LELE

Russia, Ukraine, and the Chemical Conundrum: Exploring the Use of White Phosphorus in Bakhmut

Bakhmut, an eastern Ukrainian city, has been enduring the consequences of Russia's aggression since the outset of the Ukraine conflict in February 2022. Once known as Artemivsk, it retained this name until 2016, encompassing both the Soviet and post-Soviet periods. During the 2014 Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Russian occupiers laid claim to Bakhmut as part of their territorial ambitions. However, the Ukrainian government managed to retake the city in mid-2014. Russia's interest in Bakhmut stems from its strategic geography, which enables them to disrupt Ukraine's supply lines.

AJEY LELE

Novichok and Murkier Case of Navalny Poisoning: Is Russia Flouting Chemical Weapon Convention Obligations?

Alexei Navalny, the Russian pro-democratic opposition figure and anti-corruption activist, wrote in an August 2021 article that “[I] did not die from poisoning by a chemical weapon, and it would seem that corruption played no small part in my survival.” Fortunately, he lives to tell this ordeal. Navalny was recollecting the assassination attempt on his life exactly a year back, with a suspected nerve agent. On August 20, 2020, Navalny was grievously ill onboard a flight from Tomsk (Siberia) to Moscow.

ANIMESH ROUL

STATEMENT: "OPCW and CW threats posed by extremist groups and insincere nation states"

Presentation to the 23rd CWC Conference of States Parties (CSP) Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, The Hague, The Netherlands, November 23, 2018

Mr Chairman, Director-General, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen, It’s an honour to be present at the 23rd Conference of States Parties (CSP-23) and the 4th Review Conference of the Chemical Weapons Convention.

ANIMESH ROUL

Skripals’, Novichoks and Russia: Toxic Mystery Deepens amid Denial

The incident of poisoning of Sergei Skripal, a former Russian military intelligence official, and his daughter on March 4, 2018, in Salisbury, (United Kingdom) allegedly by the Russians have caught the attention of the world. Two months after the notorious incident, on May 18 Russian President Vladimir Putin said that ‘Sergei Skripal would be dead if military grade toxin was used’. With this remark, Putin pushed the investigations of the alleged use of nerve agent ‘Novichoks’ against Sergei Viktorovich Skripal and his daughter Yulia Skripal into complete disarray.

ANIMESH ROUL

SPECIAL REPORT: The Hague Code of Conduct: Predicting the Future

The Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation (HCoC) has completed ten years of its existence. This code was formally brought into effect on November 25, 2002, at a conference hosted by the Netherlands at The Hague. This was also known as the International Code of Conduct (ICOC). This code is voluntary and not-binding in nature and mainly expects the subscribing states to furnish annual declarations on missile policy and the pre-launch notifications (PLNs) of missile test launches.

AJEY LELE

India’s Much Awaited Chemical Weapons Convention Bill

On Aug 30, 2012 the Lower House (Lok Sabha) of Indian Parliament passed a bill to amend the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) Act (2002). The Chemical Weapons Convention (Amendment), 2012 Bill “prohibits transfer of specified toxic chemicals from and to a country which is not party to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC)”. Passing of this Bill was part of India's international obligation towards CWC.

AJEY LELE

Syria and Chemical Weapon: Has Aleppo Blast Said It All?

Syria's state news agency, Sana reported that a explosion in Aleppo on July 26, killed around 15 soldiers and wounded 50 others. The Syrian officials had claimed that highly explosive products blew up due to an accidental fire at the facility and no sabotage was involved. They had reasoned that the increase in ambient temperatures up to 50 degrees Celsius caused an ammunition dump to explode, killing and wounding the soldiers.

Ajey Lele