Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC)
The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) entered into force in 1997. This international convention introduced a ban (and criminal prosecution in case of breach) on all chemical weapons, and regulates the gradual destruction of all chemical weapons and prescribes accompanying control mechanisms. The CWC ranks among the few success stories in international disarmament in the recent past. With currently 188 signatory states, the convention is close to reaching its goal of universal application.
Progress was made in the destruction of existing stockpiles by the possessor states of chemical weapons (USA, Russian Federation, India, Republic of Korea, Libya, Albania and Irak), as India and Albania have both announced the complete destruction of their stockpiles of C-weapons in 2010. But as the goal set by the CWC to destroy all chemical weapons by 2007 had not been reached, the 2007 time limit was extended to the end of April 2012. Furthermore, in 2010, the USA as well as the Russian Federation have declared not to be in a position to meet the extended time limit of April 2012 for the destruction of their C-weapons stockpiles.
Austria is one of the founding members of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), based in The Hague. Austria was a member of the Executive Council of the OPCW from May 2008 to May 2010.