Director-General Meets Senior Government Officials in Argentina, Opens 1st Regional Meeting on Education in Dual-Use Chemicals

9 April 2014

The OPCW Director-General, Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, visited Buenos Aires on 7 and 8 April 2014 where he had meetings with the Minister of Defense, Mr Agustin Rossi; with the Under Secretary for Political Affairs, Ambassador Carolina Perez Colman; and with the Secretary for University Affairs, Dr Aldo Caballero. He also delivered an opening statement to a first-ever regional meeting on Education in the Responsible Application of Knowledge of Dual-Use Chemicals [PDF – 10 KB], which Argentina co-organised with the OPCW.

In their meetings, the Director-General updated the Minister and Under Secretary on the global implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), including the mission to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons programme, and on the OPCW’s ongoing efforts to achieve universality of the CWC. He commended Argentina for its commitment to the Convention and support for the work of the OPCW, and for its initiative in organising the regional meeting. The officials assured him of Argentina’s continued commitment and support.

In his opening statement [PDF – 37 KB] to the regional meeting, the Director-General said education and outreach are opening “a new front” in the OPCW’s efforts to guard against chemical weapons, a front that “must bring together a well-integrated community of scientists and researchers working proactively for chemistry that benefits, and never harms, humankind.”

“I also wish to acknowledge the leading role Argentina has played through its national project on education and outreach, involving national governments, regional organisations, academics and industry representatives,” he continued. “This event could not be timelier – we are meeting almost one year to the day since States Parties, at the Third Review Conference in The Hague, for the first time called for action on education and outreach.”

Ambassador Perez Colman addressed the opening ceremony as well, in the presence of the Secretary for University Affairs, Dr Caballero.

While in Buenos Aires the Director-General addressed a conference at the Argentine Diplomatic Academy (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) and received a Honoris Causae degree from the University of Buenos Aires Law School. He also visited the Federal Police Officers Academy for a demonstration of equipment and preparedness against chemical incidents.