Deputy Director-General Attends 94th Armistice Day Commemoration in Ieper

Friday, 16 November 2012

Members of the OPCW visited Ieper this past autumn.

The Deputy Director-General, Mrs Grace Asirwatham, visited the Belgian town of Ieper on 11 November 2012 to represent the OPCW at the annual ceremony commemorating the end of World War I.  The Deputy Director-General attended a service at St Martin’s Cathedral, laid a wreath at the Belgian Monument and addressed the academic session in the Town Hall.

Ieper is of special significance to the OPCW as the scene of the first large-scale use of poison gas as a weapon of war, on 22 April 1915.  In her address [PDF - 22 KB], Mrs Asirwatham stated that this legacy has made Ieper not only a place for reflection of the terrible human suffering but also  “for hope and resolve - the hope for a more secure and peaceful world in which chemical weapons are completely eliminated and the resolve to work together, tirelessly, towards the realisation of this noble goal.”

By the time the Great War ran its course more than 1 million soldiers on all sides had been exposed to chemical weapons, mainly mustard gas, of whom an estimated 90,000 died agonizing deaths and countless others suffered lifelong afflictions like respiratory disease and failing eyesight. The special horror of their experience was immortalised by Wilfred Owen in his poem “Dulce et Decorum est”:

Gas! GAS! Quick, boys! — An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime...
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.”


For further information, please contact Michael Luhan, Head, OPCW Media & Public Affairs. Tel: + 31 (0) 70 416 3710 or +31 (0)6 5356 8512 or media@opcw.org | ORGANISATION FOR THE PROHIBITION OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS, Johan de Wittlaan 32, 2517 JR The Hague, The Netherlands

More news

Briefing for Non-Residential Permanent Representatives to the OPCW

The Technical Secretariat of the OPCW organised a briefing for non-residential Permanent Representatives to the OPCW on Monday 17 November in Brussels. More than 30 representatives based in Brussels and London attended the...19 November 2014Full story

Director-General Delivers Address at Oxford University

The OPCW Director-General, Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, addressed faculty and students of the Said Business School at Oxford University on 17 November 2014 on the theme of “Chemical Disarmament: The Nobel, Syria and Future...18 November 2014Full story

Picture of Director-General Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü and the United Kingdom’s Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, the Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP

Director-General Meets UK Foreign Secretary

The OPCW Director-General, Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, met with the United Kingdom’s Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, the Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP, during Mr Hammond’s visit to The Hague yesterday. The...14 November 2014Full story

Picture of Participants at a Regional Training for Customs Authorities on Technical Aspects of CWC Transfers’ Regime, which was held in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Regional Training for Customs Authorities on Technical Aspects of CWC Transfers’ Regime Held in Buenos Aires

The OPCW and National Authority of Argentina jointly organised a training course for customs officers on the technical aspects of the transfers’ regime of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) from 28 to 31 October 2014 in Buenos...14 November 2014Full story

Picture of Participants at a Regional Table Top Exercise in Chemical Emergency Response, which was held in Costa Rica from 4 - 7 November 2014

Regional Table Top Exercise in Chemical Emergency Response Held in Costa Rica

A pilot regional table top exercise in chemical emergency response for States Parties in Latin America and the Caribbean was held from 4 to 7 November 2014 in the capital city of San José. The OPCW organised the exercise in close...13 November 2014Full story

2014 – Remembrance Armistice Day in Ieper

The Deputy Director-General, Ambassador Grace Asirwatham, represented the OPCW at the 2014 Remembrance Armistice Day in Ieper, Belgium on Tuesday 11 November. On behalf of the Organisation, she laid a wreath at the Ypres War...12 November 2014Full story

Germany Hosts Courses on Chemical-Safety Management for Trainees from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean

The Government of Germany and the OPCW jointly organised two parallel training courses on chemical-safety management from 3 to 7 November 2014 at the Bergische Universität Wuppertal (BUW). The first course targeted the Africa...12 November 2014Full story

Brazil’s Under Secretary-General for Political Affairs Visits OPCW

The Under Secretary-General for Political Affairs of Brazil, H.E. Mr Carlos Antonio da Rocha Paranhos, visited the OPCW today and met with the Director-General, Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü. The Director-General provided an update to...11 November 2014Full story

Picture of H.E. Mr Fermín Gabriel Quinoñes Sánchez of Cuba

H.E. Mr Fermín Gabriel Quinoñes Sánchez (Cuba)

H.E. Mr Fermín Gabriel Quinoñes Sánchez of Cuba presented his credentials to the Director-General on 10 November 2014.10 November 2014Full story

First Recipients of New ‘OPCW-The Hague Award’ Announced

The Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, H.E. Ahmet Üzümcü, takes pleasure in announcing the decision of the OPCW-The Hague Award Committee to honour Dr Robert Mathews of Australia and the...04 November 2014Full story

Displaying 1 to 10 of 1455
<< First < Previous 1-10 11-20 21-30 31-40 41-50 51-60 61-70 Next > Last >>

OPCW news by e-mail

Subscribe

Are you subscribed already and wish to unsubscribe or update your profile?