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Diplomacy in Action

Office of Chemical and Biological Weapons (AVC/CBW): Key Missions


 Date: 2012 Description: Acting Under Secretary Gottemoeller speaking at a press conference at the UN in Geneva.  © U.S. Mission Geneva
Acting Under Secretary Gottemoeller speaking at a press conference at the UN in Geneva.

AVC/CBW has the lead responsibility within the U.S. Government for bilateral and multilateral efforts to implement the CWC. The Office promotes measures on the future of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), and provides direct guidance and support to the U.S. Delegation to the OPCW. AVC/CBW also manages the U.S. National Authority, which oversees U.S. implementation of the CWC. The Office chairs the U.S. interagency-wide CWC Backstopping Group.

AVC/CBW also has lead responsibility within the Department for developing policy and addressing verification and compliance aspects of existing and prospective agreements and commitments involving biological or chemical weapons.

The Office has the lead on U.S. compliance assessments of other countries’ chemical and biological activities, as well as on developing approaches and leading negotiations to resolve U.S. concerns. It also chairs the USG-wide Verification, Compliance and Analysis Working Group (VCAWG).

The Office prepares those sections of the Congressionally-mandated annual report on Adherence to and Compliance with Arms Control, Nonproliferation, and Disarmament Agreements and Commitments relating to chemical and biological weapons. In addition, with respect to the CWC, the office prepares the Annual Condition 10(c) Report on compliance with the CWC as mandated by the Senate Resolution of Ratification.  

The Office is also responsible for preparing verifiability assessments of arms control, nonproliferation, and disarmament agreements as required under 22 U.S.C. § 2577 or by direction.

AVC/CBW represents the Department on these issues in contacts with the NSC, the Departments of Defense, Commerce, Homeland Security, Justice, the Intelligence Community, and other applicable entities, on issues involving chemical and biological weapons.

The Office coordinates closely with the Office of Verification and Transparency Technologies (ACV/VTT) and the Intelligence Community to ensure that current and projected collection and analytical requirements related to verification, compliance, and implementation in the above areas are clearly formulated, well understood, and given appropriate emphasis and attention.


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