Allegations in March by both Syria's Assad regime and its opponents that the other side had used chemical weapons (CW) in the country's increasingly bitter civil war have served to highlight the challenges surrounding their prohibition. These will be on the agenda at the 2013 Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) Review Conference, set to take place in The Hague on 8–19 April.
The conference is intended to take stock of the implementation of the ban on chemical weapons (enshrined by the 1993 CWC), noting that the destruction of stockpiles is continuing and examining new areas of activity for the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which oversees the implementation of the CWC. The crisis in Syria and the escalating threats emanating from North Korea, which also has CW stockpiles, have underlined the importance of such efforts. States party to the convention will examine deadlines for stockpile destruction, identify areas of priority and overcome challenges from CW-states that remain outside the convention.