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The 10th Anniversary of the Chemical Weapons Convention (in NYC)
I was there to videotape it.
Back on October 8, 2007, I was assigned to cover a historic all day gathering, the Tenth Anniversary of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) Symposium: Effective Multilateralism, which marked the multilateral disarmament treaty that bans chemical weapons and requires their destruction within a specified period of time.The convention entered into force on April 29, 1997.
Nearly a dozen ambassadors, academics and representatives from the United States and Europe came together for the meeting: sponsored by Columbia Law School, it took place in the grand Low Library at Columbia University.
The symposium included opening remarks from Ambassador Rogelio Pfirter, the Director-General of the OPCW, and two sessions addressing successes and ongoing challenges, expectations, and more (see program line up below).
Like many other occasions I worked at over the years in New York City, I found it to be an amazing affair to witness, and as an event-specific paper ephemera and autograph collector, I tried to document it as much as I could. (And as a videographer, it was a lot of work too. One camera covering to large panel discussions is a little much. But I was very pleased with my results.)
And so, how did I do as a collector? Pretty good, if I say so myself.
I secured the signatures of every participant on the cover of an official CWC symposium program, the signature of Ambassador Pfirter alone on a second program, the table tent IDs from the opening session (including Pfirter), several pages of found handwritten notes (from three participants), and a copy of the updated schedule.
And take a look at those who participated:
- Ambassador Rogelio Pfirter – Director-General of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
- Ambassador Eric M. Javits – the U.S. Permanent Representative to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
- Lori Fishler Damrosch - the Henry L. Moses Professor of International Law and Organization at Columbia Law School who served as moderator of the morning session,
- Chris Shays - who at the time was U.S. Representative from Connecticut and a member of the House subcommittee on terrorism risk assessment
- Ambassador Xue Hanqin – Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the Netherlands and Permanent Representative to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
- Ambassador Donald A. Mahley – Deputy Assistant Secretary for Arms Control Implementation, Bureau for International Security and Nonproliferation, U.S. Department of State
- Richard Gardner - Professor of Law and International Organization at Columbia Law School and a Senior Counsel to the global Law firm Morgan Lewis who served as moderator of the second panel.
- Ambassador Rolf Ekeus – Chairman of the Governing Board of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities, former Ambassador to the U.S. from Sweden
- The Honorable Annalisa Giannella – European Union High Reprensentative Javier Solana’s Personal Representative on Nonproliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction
- Matthew S. Borman – Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration
I also obtained the autograph of someone whom I failed to identify later, someone important who was pointed out in the audience and I sought out after the symposium concluded, or was added to the afternoon session. A Pete or Peter B. someone. Maybe I will find out who it was in the future.
Again, it was a thrill to be at and document this historic occasion like I did - both as a videographer and on paper. (And Columbia Law School has the video, so I cannot link you to it.)
Anyway, I hope you enjoy looking at the collection. And do tell others about it.