The Path to the CWC

Archive

Documents on Disarmament: The Path to the CWC

On this page, you will find a growing archive of the various documents involved in the 20+ years of negotiating that led to the Chemical Weapons Convention. According to the OPCW, serious discussions on biological and chemical weapons treaties started in 1968 at the Disarmament Conference in Geneva. Therefore, the timeline begins in 1968.

With this archive, you can trace the path of history as negotiators grappled with serious questions: how do you define a chemical weapon? How should stockpiles be destroyed? How do you make an implementing body? What should be done about abandoned chemical weapons? Many of the documents included in this archive come from the Documents on Disarmament series published by the United States Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. If you have a document you think we should include, email us via the Contact Us page.

1968

  • August 6: British Working Paper on Microbiological Warfare

1969

  • August 26: Twelve-Nation Working Paper Submitted to the Eighteen Nation Disarmament Committee: Proposed General Assembly Declaration Regarding Prohibition of the Use of Chemical and Biological Methods of Warfare

1970

  • August 25: Twelve-Nation Memorandum Submitted to the Conference of the Committee on Disarmament: Chemical and Bacteriological (Biological) Methods of Warfare
  • October 23: Revised Communist Draft Convention Submitted to the General Assembly: Prohibition of the Development, Production, and Stockpiling of Chemical and Bacteriological (Biological) Weapons and the Destruction of Such Weapons
  • November 9: Tripartite Draft Resolution Introduced in the First Committee of the General Assembly: Chemical and Bacteriological (Biological) Weapons

1971

  • December 16: General Assembly Resolution 2826 (XXVI): Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction

1972

  • April 10: Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction

1973

  • April 26: Ten Nation Working Paper Submitted to the Conference of the Committee on Disarmament: Prohibition of the Development, Production, and Stockpiling of Chemical Weapons and Their Destruction
  • June 28: Communist Working Paper Submitted to the Conference of the Committee on Disarmament: Ways of Implementing Control Over Compliance With the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, and Stockpiling of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction
  • July 31: Netherlands Working Paper Submitted to the Conference of the Committee on Disarmament: International Organ for the Support of a Chemical-Weapons Convention and Other Disarmament Agreements
  • August 21: Canadian Working Paper Submitted to the Conference of the Committee on Disarmament: Problem of Defining Chemical Substances in Treaty Prohibiting the Development, Production, and Stockpiling of Chemical Weapons

1974

  • December 9: General Assembly Resolution 3256 (XXIX): Chemical and Bacteriological (Biological) Weapons
  • April 30: Japanese Draft Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, and Stockpiling of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction
  • July 16: United States Working Paper Submitted to the Conference of the Committee on Disarmament: Chemical Agent Destruction

1975

  • March 25: Statement by the Japanese Representative (Nisibori) to the Conference on the Committee on Disarmament: Chemical Weapons 
  • April 8: Executive Order 11850: Renunciation of Certain Uses in War of Chemical Herbicides and Riot Control Agents
  • July 22: FRG Working Paper Submitted to the Conference of the Committee on Disarmament: Definition and Classification of Chemical Warfare Agents
  • July 29: Swedish Working Paper Introduced in the Conference of the Committee on Disarmament: Model for Delimitating Chemical Warfare Agents in an International Treaty
  • August 26: Canadian Working Paper Submitted to the Conference of the Committee on Disarmament: Use of Measurements of Lethality for Definition of Agents of Chemical Warfare 

1976

  • April 9: Swedish Working Paper Submitted to the Conference of the Committee on Disarmament: Some Aspects of On-Site Verification of the Destruction of Stockpiles of Chemical Weapons
  • April 8: Japanese Working Paper Submitted to the Conference of the Committee on Disarmament: Question of Chemical Warfare Agents to be Prohibited by the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
  • June 29: United States Working Paper Submitted to the Conference of the Committee on Disarmament: Verification of Destruction of Declared Stocks of Chemical Warfare Agents
  • July 5: Yugoslav Working Paper Submitted to the Conference of the Committee on Disarmament: A Method of Categorization of Chemical Compounds Regarding Binary Technology
  • July 5: Yugoslav Working Paper Submitted to the Conference of the Committee on Disarmament: Definition of Chemical Warfare Agents
  • July 6: Statement by the British Representative (Allen) to the Conference on the Committee on Disarmament: Chemical Weapons
  • July 6: Statement by the Japanese Representative (Ogiso) to the Conference of the Committee on Disarmament: Chemical Weapons
  • July 6: German Democratic Republic Working Paper Submitted to the Conference of the Committee on Disarmament: Catalytic Detoxification of Organophosphorus Chemical Warfare Agents
  • July 8: Czechoslovak Working paper Submitted to the Conference of the Committee on Disarmament: Some Medical Aspects of the Chemical Weapons Problem and Its Perspectives
  • July 13: Statement by the United States Representative (Martin) to the Conference of the Committee on Disarmament: Chemical Weapons
  • August 6: British Draft Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, and Stockpiling of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction

1977

  • May 17: United States-Soviet Communique: Bilateral Consultations on Radiological and Chemical Weapons
  • August 3: Soviet Working Paper Submitted to the Conference of the Committee on Disarmament: Verification of the Destruction of Declared Stocks of Chemical Weapons
  • December 12: General Assembly Resolution 32/77: Chemical and Bacteriological (Biological) Weapons

1978

  • December 14: General Assembly Resolution 33/59: Chemical and Bacteriological (Biological) Weapons
  • May 9: Joint Statement by the United States and the Soviet Union to the Conference of the Committee on Disarmament: Negotiations on a Chemical Weapons Ban
  • May 11: Special Report of the Conference of the Committee on Disarmament to the Special Session of the General Assembly Devoted to Disarmament: State of Questions Under Consideration by the Committee [Extract] 

1979

  • August 7: Joint Report by the United States and the Soviet Union to the Committee on Disarmament: Progress in the Bilateral Negotiations on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
  • August 13: Working Paper Submitted by France, Italy, and the Netherlands to the Committee on Disarmament: Evaluation of the Discussion in the Committee on Disarmament in 1979 With Respect to Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
  • April 9: Working Paper Submitted by the Group of 21 to the Committee on Disarmament: Negotiations on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, and Stockpiling of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction
  • July 12: FRG Working Paper Submitted to the Committee on Disarmament: Some Aspects of International Verification of Non-Production of Chemical Weapons
  • July 19: Statement by the French Representative (de la Gorce) to the Committee on Disarmament: Chemical Weapons
  • December 12: Statement by the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs (Colbert) Before a Subcommittee of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs: Use of Chemical Weapons in Indochina
  • April 26: Statement by the Soviet Representatives (Issraelyan) to the Committee on Disarmament: Chemical Weapons
  • November 26: Statement by the U.S. Representative (Fisher) to the First Committee of the General Assembly: Chemical Weapons
  • December 12: Central Intelligence Agency Paper: Chemical Warfare in Laos

1980

  • July 7: Joint Report by the United States and the Soviet Union to the Committee on Disarmament: Bilateral Chemical Weapons Negotiations
  • July 8: Canadian Working Paper Submitted to the Committee on Disarmament: Organization and Control of Verification Within a Chemical Weapons Convention
  • June 27: French Working Paper Submitted to the Committee on Disarmament: Control of the Non-Manufacture and Non-Possession of Agents and Weapons of Chemical Warfare
  • November 25: Statement by the New Zealand Representative (Martin) to the First Committee of the General Assembly: Investigation Into Use of Chemical Weapons

1981

  • Documents to be uploaded

1982

  • Documents to be uploaded

1983

  • Documents to be uploaded

2022

  • Current: Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction