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As the Fourth Review Conference of the Chemical Weapons Convention in 2018 is fast approaching, it is time to begin reviewing how the treaty is operating 20 years after its entry into force. Much has been achieved towards freeing the world of the menace of chemical warfare, and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (the OPCW) received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2013 in recognition of its achievements towards this goal. A small number of States remain that have yet to join the Convention, and the destruction of the remaining chemical weapons stockpiles has yet to be completed, but the overall direction of the OPCW's work is gradually shifting towards a stronger emphasis on measures to prevent the re-emergence of chemical weapons in the future. The environment within which the Convention is operating is undergoing significant change. One critical aspect in this regard is convergence – a dominant trend in today's advances in science and technology that has a significant impact on the Convention and its way of operating. This chapter provides an overview of the key provisions of the Convention, and looks at success stories, as well as problem areas, related to its implementation. It discusses the range of provisions of the Convention that aim at preventing the re-emergence of chemical weapons (national legislation and implementation, verification, protection and assistance against chemical weapons, and compliance management including the work of the Executive Council and challenge inspection), and identifies challenges and opportunities emanating from convergence. It then reviews the way in which the OPCW monitors advances in science and technology, with particular emphasis on convergence in the life sciences, and how it assesses the impact of these advances on the operation of the Convention. Then finally, the chapter looks at political and cultural issues ahead of the OPCW, identifies needs with regards to maintaining operational capacity, competence and knowledge, and it ends with some general thoughts about how convergence in science and technology may affect the relationship between the CWC and other regimes.

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