Day of Remembrance Observed at the OPCW

28 April 2011
H.E. Mr Julio Roberto Palomo SilvaH.E. Mr Ahmet ÜzümcüMr Jozias van AartsenMr Robert de Groot

Mr Robert de Groot

A ceremony marking the annual Day of Remembrance for All Victims of Chemical Warfare was held at the OPCW headquarters in The Hague on 28 April 2011. During the event, wreaths were placed at the Permanent Memorial at OPCW headquarters, and a statement was delivered on behalf of the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon.  Among the remarks of the speakers in the ceremony: 


By working steadily towards realising the objectives and purposes of the Convention, we pay homage to the memory of countless victims across the world that suffered the cruelty of chemical weapons.
– H.E. Julio Roberto Palomo Silva, Chairman of the States Parties, full statement









The achievements of the OPCW represent an example of how the UN Charter’s principles for the promotion of international peace and security can be translated into concrete action. In remembering the victims of chemical warfare, we rededicate ourselves to the important mission before us.
– OPCW Director-General Ahmet Üzümcü, full statement









All over the world there are people who have no compunction about using chemical weapons for whatever purpose, and that’s why it’s a good thing that the Chemical Weapons Convention exists… The world has become a safer place since 1997 thanks to the men and working working here in this institution. 
– Mr Jozias van Aartsen, Mayor of The Hague, full statement









Chemical weapons have cost the lives of many thousands of people, and hundreds of thousands have suffered for many years as a result of their use, so there’s every reason to keep marking this Day of Remembrance… Clearly, the Chemical Weapons Convention and the OPCW have accomplished a great deal. (The organisation) stands out for its remarkable verification regime, its cooperation with chemical industry, and its tradition of consensus-based policy making. 
– Mr Robert de Groot, Director-General of Europeans Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands