The OPCW officially commenced the 16th edition of its annual Associate Programme on 24 July at the organisation’s headquarters in The Hague. Launched by the OPCW in 2000, the programme trains chemists and chemical engineers in the peaceful uses of chemistry and provides in-depth understanding of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and of the OPCW, thereby enhancing States Parties’ capacity to implement the CWC at the national level. It has steadily grown into a major international training programme that directly contributes to the economic and technological development of States Parties as stipulated by Article XI of the CWC.
OPCW’s Deputy Director-General, Mr. Hamid Ali Rao, chaired the opening session on behalf of the Director-General and addressed the participants. He expressed appreciation to States Parties for their continuing support to the programme and for the support of various other partners, including the World Customs Organization (WCO), European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC), European Association of Chemical Distributors (FECC), European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), Dutch Customs Authorities, City and Port of Rotterdam, and Technical University of Delft.
This year’s 10-week course has 32 Associates from 30 countries*, who will participate in lectures and exercises at the OPCW headquarters, visit specialised institutions in the Netherlands and attend a three-week “Chemical Engineering-Oriented Skills Development Course” at the University of Surrey, UK. The Associates will then attend a one-week training on Chemical Safety and Security in The Hague before departing for three weeks on industry attachments hosted by chemical industries in Brazil, Croatia, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Spain and Sri Lanka. This on-the-job experience provides skills to operate in a modern chemical industry with an emphasis on chemical process safety management.
*Algeria; Argentina; Brazil; Burkina Faso; Burundi; Cameroon; China; Colombia; Cuba; Ethiopia; Ghana; Hungary; India; Jordan; Kenya; Lesotho; Malawi; Nigeria; Pakistan; Paraguay; Philippines; Poland; Saudi Arabia; Spain; Sri Lanka; Sudan; Tanzania; Tunisia; Uganda; Zimbabwe