Canada contributes €2.5 million to support OPCW work in Syria

18 February 2015

17 February 2015 – The Hague, Netherlands – Canada’s Permanent Representative to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Ambassador Sabine Nölke, and OPCW Director-General, Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, announced today that Canada will contribute an additional €2.5 million (C$3.9 million) to support the Organisation’s verification and fact-finding work in Syria.

This contribution builds on previous Canadian voluntary contributions to the OPCW totalling €8.5 million (C$12 million) for the initial 2013 investigation into chemical weapons use in Syria and to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons program. It will be channeled through the OPCW’s new Trust Fund for Syria Missions, which will consolidate extra-budgetary contributions from member states to cover the high cost of contingency operations in Syria.

“Canada is pleased to support OPCW activities to verify the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons program and to investigate allegations of chemical weapons use through its Fact-Finding Mission,” said Ambassador Nölke. “Since 2013, the OPCW has played a crucial role in addressing the threat posed by chemical weapons in Syria. We commend the Organisation’s staff for their tireless efforts under difficult circumstances.”

“I welcome this significant contribution by Canada to the Trust Fund for Syria Missions,” said Director-General Üzümcü. “These funds will help the OPCW’s important work toward the complete elimination of Syria’s chemical weapons program.”

This contribution complements a US$2 million (C$2.8 million) allocation by Canada, announced in tandem this week in New York, to the OPCW-United Nations Joint Investigative Mechanism to support the pursuit of accountability for chemical weapons use in Syria. Both contributions will be funded by Canada’s Global Partnership Program, established in 2002 to reduce the threat posed by the proliferation of chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear weapons, materials, and expertise.