The Fourth Review Conference of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) will take place in The Hague from 21-30 November 2018. All three previous five-yearly CWC Review Conferences were successful in that they were concluded with consensus documents. Repeating this performance this year faces stiff challenges.
The Review Conference takes place against the background of serious disagreements among its States Parties over the recent use of chemical weapons in Syria, Malaysia and the United Kingdom. The re-emergence of chemical weapons and the difficulties in holding the users accountable affect the core norm of the Convention and therefore its essential validity. The main challenge for the participating States Parties at the Review Conference is to prevent these disagreements from overwhelming the unquestionable progress that has been made over the years.
In this Clingendael Alert authors Sico van der Meer and Malik Ellahi offer some insights on how to overcome the disagreements and to make the Review Conference a success after all.