The Associate Programme, conducted by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) began its fifth course on 23 July 2004 and concluded on 1 October 2004. The ten-week programme was attended by 24 trainees, from twenty-four Member States: Algeria, Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cameroon, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Georgia, Ghana, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Malawi, Malaysia, Mauritius, Nicaragua, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Tanzania and Vietnam .
The Associate Programme aims to enhance both the effective implementation of the industry-related provisions of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and Member States’ national capacities, particularly those whose economies are either in development or in transition. The intensive training, both theoretical and practical serves to promote the peaceful applications of chemistry and increase the pool of experienced personnel from which both the National Authorities and the OPCW can draw upon in the future
In his address to the graduates of the Associate Programme, OPCW Director-General, Mr. Rogelio Pfirter observed that the ten-week course is an ‘International cooperation programme’ in every sense of the term. It brings together the Member States’National Authorities, the chemical industry, the academia and the Technical Secretariat in a partnership, which sustains the programme and strengthens the process of implementation of the CWC.
The Director-General gratefully acknowledged the voluntary financial contributions received from the Governments of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Japan for meeting a part of the costs of this year’s programme. He mentioned that the skills development course conducted by the University of Surrey was unique both in terms of breadth and content, and is of enormous benefit to the programme.
On behalf of the Organisation, Director-General Pfirter expressed his appreciation to the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands for its support in arranging visits to various specialised institutions in the Netherlands. He also expressed his gratitude to the Governments of Belgium, France, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland and their national chemical associations for their generous assistance in arranging on-site industrial training.
The cooperation and support extended by individual companies was welcomed and gratefully acknowledged by Director-General Pfirter. The industrial partners of the Associate Programme, which have devoted considerable time and effort in providing industrial training to the participants, included: Corn van Loocke N.V. of Belgium; Atofina of France; Bracco S.p.A and Vinavil S.p.A of Italy; Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation and Kyowa Hakko Kogyo of Japan; Dow Benelux B.V., Uniqema and Yara Sluiskil of the Netherlands; Repsol S.A of Spain; AstraZeneca of Sweden; and Clariant and Lonza of Switzerland who had spent a lot of time and effort. Director-General Pfirter also extended the Organisation’s sincere thanks to Du Pont, Prins Maurits Laboratory, DCMR, AVR Chemie, Deltalinqs, the Netherlands Customs Authority and the Technical University Library at Delft, the Netherlands, the European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC) and the World Customs Organisation for their continuing and invaluable support for the programme.