IUPAC and OPCW have recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) wherein they have agreed to cooperate towards achieving their common goals, particularly in promoting chemistry for peaceful purposes and facilitating the exchange of scientific and technical information in support of their work. (see News, 1 Dec 2016)
This project seeks to establish an exchange programme that will allow more members of the OPCW and IUPAC organisations to observe the other organisation in action and develop ideas for future collaboration.
The Task Group Chairs believe that the goals outlined in the MoU between OPCW and IUPAC will be significantly advanced if more people in our organisations know more about how the other one operates and about the institutional frameworks and detailed priorities that affect their work. This broader and deeper knowledge can be achieved by sending a representative from each participating IUPAC Division and Standing Committee to the 2018 OPCW Conference of States Parties (CSP), 19-20 November 2018, and/or Fourth Review Conference of the Chemical Weapons Convention (RC4), 21-30 November 2018, both held in The Hague (see detailed agenda on opcw.org). In turn, OPCW will send representatives to the 2019 IUPAC General Assembly in Paris (5-12 July, 2019).
IUPAC delegates would collaborate with the OPCW Scientific Advisory Board in presenting a side event at the OPCW meetings to raise awareness amongst diplomats from the States Parties of scientific aspects of the Chemical Weapons Convention and the IUPAC-OPCW collaboration. Likewise, OPCW technical experts could contribute oral presentations or posters in appropriate sessions of the IUPAC World Chemistry Congress that runs in parallel to the General Assembly.
Interacting OPCW/IUPAC delegates will then be asked to contribute to preparing a blueprint outlining opportunities for further collaboration between OPCW and IUPAC, and will be expected to report back to the units within their own organisations. It is anticipated that an article for Chemistry International will also be prepared, detailing the key events of the exchange and outlining next steps in the collaboration.
For a review of earlier cooperations between OPCW and IUPAC, see L.K. Sydnes, CI July 2013, pp. 4-8 (https://doi.org/10.1515/ci.2013.35.4.4). More recently, a joint project (2017-001-1-020) focussing on a review of Emerging Technologies and Remote Sensing was completed and published as a special issue on IUPAC journal Pure Appl. Chem. (Oct 2018).
Jan 2019 update:
A full delegation of IUPAC scientists attended the Fourth Review Conference of the Chemical Weapons Convention (held in November 2018 in The Hague), and in so doing to find out more about the staff structure of OPCW and the way that it operates. The delegation was made up of representatives from most IUPAC Divisions and Committees, and they had the opportunity to provide an outline of their areas of activity and expertise at a side-event of the Review Conference. The side-event was very well attended by both diplomats from across many of the 193 States Parties (including Ambassadors Member Nations of the OPCW to the Netherlands) and OPCW staff (it was a standing room only event!). The presentation, co-organized with OPCW staff can be accessed from the OPCW website (www.opcw.org/sites/default/files/documents/2018/11/20181121 – IUPAC – OPCW – Presentation.pdf).
The RC4 photo album is available on flickr.com
July 2019 update:
A report titled “Building Broader and Deeper Links Between OPCW and IUPAC” is published in Chem Int April 2019, 41(2), pp. 30-33; https://doi.org/10.1515/ci-2019-0210
Sept 2019 update:
For a review of IUPAC/OPCW partnership see Forman, J. and Cesa, M. “A Partnership of Science and Diplomacy to Eliminate Chemical Weapons” IUPAC 100 Stories released 18 September 2019, https://iupac.org/100/stories/a-partnership-of-science-and-diplomacy-to-eliminate-chemical-weapons/.
Subsequent projects in collaboration with OPCW include:
– Enhancing capabilities for the mitigation of chemical risk: the dissemination of the Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG) in Russian-speaking countries (Jan 2021) https://iupac.org/project/2020-020-2-600
Page last update 14 Jan 2021
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