OPCW Participates at Major Chemical Weapons Conference

8 June 2015
OPCW Director-General, Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü (right), with the UK Defence Minister for Reserves, Mr Julian Brazier MP.

OPCW Director-General, Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü (right), with the UK Defence Minister for Reserves, Mr Julian Brazier MP.

The OPCW Director-General, Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, visited London on 3 – 4 June 2015, where he addressed the 18th International Chemical Weapons Demilitarisation Conference (CWD). Hosted by the United Kingdom’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), the event convened a large number of specialists from military, scientific and chemical industry backgrounds for discussion on topics related to chemical disarmament and demilitarisation. UK Defence Minister for Reserves, Mr Julian Brazier MP, spoke at the conference.

In his remarks, Ambassador Üzümcü offered insights into the OPCW’s work in Syria and the current status of worldwide chemical disarmament. He further expanded on the challenges facing the future implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention.

“The Convention’s credibility tomorrow will hinge on our ability to plan proactively today,” said the Director-General. Addressing the threat of non-state actors carrying out acts of chemical terrorism, Ambassador Üzümcü called for expanded efforts to reach out to scientists and specialists who may have played a role in developing chemical weapons programmes.

“Those who had previously been involved in weapons programmes can make important contributions towards preventive measures for countering chemical terrorist threat – and building response capabilities to be used if we fail to prevent them,” said the Director-General.

During his trip to London, the Director-General also met with senior UK Government officials for discussion on various issues related to implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention.

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