The annual Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare was observed at a ceremony today in the Ieper Room of the OPCW headquarters, so named after the site of the first chemical weapons attack in April 1915 in Ieper, Belgium.
The Chairperson of the Conference of States Parties, Ambassador Vesela Mrđen Korać of Croatia opened the commemorative session. Statements were also delivered by the OPCW Director-General, Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü; Mayor of The Hague, Mr Jozias van Aartsen and Ambassador for International Organisations at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Mrs Nora Stehouwer-van Iersel.
In his remarks to the ceremony the Director-General said: “On this Remembrance Day, following the issue of the historic Ieper Declaration by States Parties, we renew our resolve to achieve a world truly free of chemical weapons. We must re-dedicate ourselves to this mission, with the same political will that fuelled the creation of the global ban against these weapons”.
The dignitaries also laid wreaths to pay homage to victims of chemical warfare at the Memorial Site.