OPCW at 20

2017 is a special year for the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) because 29 April marks the 20th anniversary of the entry into force of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and the founding of the OPCW.

Over the past twenty years, approximately 96 per cent of chemical weapon stockpiles declared by possessor states have been eliminated under the watchful eye of the OPCW. This remarkable achievement is the result of a global endeavour – involving nations, industry, scientists, and civil society – to create and enforce the world’s most successful disarmament treaty. Through this powerful international legal regime, an entire category of weapons of mass destruction is nearing complete eradication.

One hundred and ninety-two countries committing themselves to the Chemical Weapons Convention have made it possible for 98 per cent of the global population to live under the Convention’s protection. The disarmament achievements are remarkable and thanks to OPCW verification, the results are real. In response to an evolving security landscape, OPCW Member States and the Technical Secretariat have become increasingly agile and resilient as we respond to today’s threats and prepare for tomorrow’s.


Nations committed to the Chemical Weapons Convention


percent of world population living under the protection of the chemical weapons convention


Percent of World’s declared chemical weapon stockpiles verifiably destroyed


Nobel Prize for Peace awarded to the OPCW for “extensive efforts to eliminate chemical weapons”


This project is co-funded by
the European Union.


20 Moments

Browse a selection of 20 moments from the last 20 years of the OPCW story that provide a glimpse into who we are, what we do, where we have been, and the history we have made.


Discover the events and initiatives happening around the world and throughout 2017 to raise awareness of chemical weapons issues, challenges, and the path ahead.


Learn how to bring the anniversary to life on social media, download the 20th Anniversary Mark and make use of images, videos, posters and fact sheets. Multi-lingual resources offered.

commemorative ceremony

Find materials related to the Commemorative Ceremony on 26 April marking the 20th Anniversary of the Chemical Weapons Convention and the OPCW.

Commemorative Ceremony