cwc 27 March 2020

Canada adds Salisbury attack chemicals to control list

Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs announced, 10 March, that the Canadian government was ‘taking a strong stance for a safer world’ by controlling ‘dangerous chemicals’ – the Novichok class of chemical weapons, used against the Skripals in Salisbury, England, in March 2018 – under the Chemical Weapons Convention Implementation Act (‘CWCIA’).

Since that attack, Global Affairs Canada said, it had become clear that those weapons should be subject to declaration and verification.

In a statement, it explained: ‘Last fall, States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) agreed unanimously to add Novichoks to the list of chemicals banned by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) – the first time new toxic chemicals had been added to the OPCW list.

‘Today, Canada is tabling amendments to the CWC to add four new categories of controlled chemicals – including Novichoks – as agreed at the 24th Session of the Conference of the States Parties of the CWC, held in The Hague, Netherlands, in November 2019.

‘Canada is also introducing legislation to amend the CWCIA by clarifying the list of controlled chemicals for those who work in this field. This will ensure that Canada’s implementation of the CWC is constantly up to date.’ 

It said that the original version of the Canadian CWCIA ‘contained a copy of the original list of chemicals controlled by the OPCW; this list will soon be out of date. The amendments to the CWCIA remove the old list and make clear that the correct list of chemicals is the one maintained by the OPCW, easily accessible on its public website.’