The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) has endorsed The Hague Ethical Guidelines, which was facilitated by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to guide the responsible practice of chemistry under the norms of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).
IUPAC President, Prof Natalia P. Tarasova, in her 22 April 2016 letter to the OPCW Director-General, Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, highlighted that “the Core Element of the Hague Ethical Guidelines, which states ‘Achievements in the field of chemistry should be used to benefit humankind and protect the environment’ is fully consistent with the IUPAC strategic mission and vision.”
The OPCW Director-General responded, “I warmly welcome this endorsement from IUPAC, a global authority on the science of chemistry and a very close partner of the OPCW. This strengthens The Hague Guidelines, which promote a culture of responsible conduct in the chemical sciences and guard against the misuse of chemistry.”
IUPAC will assist in promulgating the Guidelines to their members in 50 countries around the world.
The Hague Ethical Guidelines, originally a German initiative, have been developed by scientists and chemistry professionals from over 20 countries during two workshops facilitated by the OPCW in 2015. Several IUPAC members, in their individual capacity, contributed to this exercise. In December 2015, the Conference of the States Parties to the CWC acknowledged The Hague Ethical Guidelines as vital to advancing the understanding among chemistry practitioners of the importance of nurturing responsible and ethical norms for scientific research and development.
IUPAC has collaborated with the OPCW on many initiatives such as contributing to the OPCW’s Temporary Working Group on Education and Outreach, workshops in support of the OPCW Scientific Advisory Board, and projects to raise awareness about chemistry education and the work of the OPCW.
The Hague Ethical Guidelines will also feature in symposia focused on the OPCW and the CWC during the 24th IUPAC International Conference on Chemistry Education (ICCE). This year’s ICCE will take place in Kuching, Malaysia from 15-20 August.
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