Central Nervous System (CNS)-Acting Chemicals: The Path Forward

June 29, 2021
10:00 AM – 11:30 AM Eastern Time

Ahead of the OPCW’s 97th Executive Council meeting next month and the 26th Conference of States Parties later this year, the debate surrounding central nervous system (CNS)-acting chemicals and their regulation continues.

At the previous Executive Council meeting in March of this year, the council voted to adopt a decision recommending that, at the 26th session of the Conference of States Parties, the member states should decide that the aerosolized use of CNS-acting chemicals is inconsistent with law enforcement purposes as a “purpose not prohibited” under the Convention.

How did this decision come about, and what is the path forward for regulation of CNS-acting chemicals?

Our speakers discussed the contested use and regulation of CNS-acting chemical agents in law enforcement, implications of the adoption of the OPCW Executive Council decision, the current state of research around CNS-acting chemicals, and the long term implications and risks of these substances.

Speakers included:

  • Dr. Michael Crowley, Honorary Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the University of Bradford and Research Associate, Omega Research Foundation
  • Dr. Malcolm Dando, Professor Emeritus at the University of Bradford
  • Leanne Quinn, moderator, Chemical Weapons Convention Coalition
  • Dr. Paul Walker, moderator, Coordinator, Chemical Weapons Convention Coalition