Duties of the Director-General

Director-General, Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü (right) and Canadian Ambassador James Lambert at the signing ceremony for Canada's voluntary contribution to the OPCW in April 2012.

The Director-General is appointed by the Conference, upon the recommendation of the Council, for a term of four years. The term of office of a particular Director-General may be renewed for one additional term, but not thereafter. The current Director-General, Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, was appointed by the Conference of the States Parties H.E. in December 2009 by the 14th Session of the Conference of the States Parties and began his four-year term of office on 25 July 2010.

The Director-General is responsible to the Conference and to the Council for the appointment of staff, and the organisation and functioning of the Secretariat. In the performance of his or her duties, the Director-General (like staff members) must not seek or receive instructions from any Government or from any other source external to the Organisation, and must refrain from any action that might reflect on his or her position as an officer responsible only to the Conference and the Council.

The Director-General is the official interface between the Secretariat and the Conference and the Council. He or she may attend sessions and meetings of the Conference and the Council ex officio, and may, with the approval of the presiding officer, make written or oral statements to any such session or meeting. The Director-General also oversees the administrative and technical support provided to the Conference and the Council. In this regard, the Director General prepares the provisional agenda for the sessions and meetings of the Conference and the Council, and ensures that each matter drawn to the attention of the Conference or the Council or proposed for inclusion in their agendas, is accompanied by appropriate documentation.

The Director-General has special responsibilities in relation to the implementation of the Convention's verification regime. He is charged with preparing periodic reports to the Council and the Conference on verification activities and on the status of implementation of the Convention as a whole. The Director-General is the originator of all inspection mandates, and has specific responsibilities in relation to challenge inspections and investigations of alleged use.

Other areas of particular responsibility for the Director-General include the OPCW's confidentiality regime, the handling of samples, and the designation of inspectors. The Director-General is also responsible for the organisation and functioning of the Scientific Advisory Board, which reviews scientific and technological developments relevant to the Convention.


88th Session of the Executive Council:
10 - 13 July 2018

89th Session of the Executive Council:
9 - 12 October 2018