Angola (7th largest country in Africa and a population of 24.3 million people) has joined the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), becoming the 192nd country to enter its ranks of member states who are working together to achieve a world free of chemical weapons. The Organization announced that Angola had formally become a member state a month after acceding to the Chemical Weapons Convention.
Nations that still have not joined include Egypt, Israel, North Korea and South Sudan.
Director-general of the organization, Ahmet Uzumcu, has welcomed Angola’s step and says he hopes it “will encourage those countries which remain outside the Convention to join the global consensus against chemical weapons.”
The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, an intergovernmental organization, located in The Hague, Netherlands is the implementing body of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), which entered into force in 1997. The organization promotes and verifies the adherence to the Chemical Weapons Convention which prohibits the use of chemical weapons and requires their destruction. The verification consists both of evaluation of declarations by member states and on-site inspections.
The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) was awarded the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize because it had, with the Chemical Weapons Convention “defined the use of chemical weapons as a taboo under international law” according to Thorbjørn Jagland, Chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee.