Scientists Are at the Frontline of Peace, Says OPCW Verification Director

19 July 2016
Mr Philippe Denier, Director of Verification Division of the OPCW.

Mr Philippe Denier, Director of Verification Division of the OPCW.

“Under OPCW auspices, scientists are taking the lead in promoting science working in the service of peace and security,” said Mr Philippe Denier, Director of Verification Division of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) during his keynote address at the International Conference on Pure and Applied Chemistry in Mauritius on 18 July.

During the conference, entitled Emerging Trends in the Chemical Sciences, a significant number of prominent scientists reviewed recent findings in chemistry research and debated opening new avenues for scientific investigations.

“[S]ecurity cannot be the sole prerogative of governments,” stated Mr Denier. “We all have a vital stake in a future free of chemical weapons – a future in which chemistry is set to increasingly underwrite our prosperity and well-being.”

Mr Denier underlined that scientists are key players in the OPCW mission, and are
“at the frontline of international efforts to ensure chemical weapons are never again used or made.” He described multiple ways in which the Organisation benefits from its partnership with science, including through the advice about credible verification techniques and methodologies as well as cutting-edge research relevant to the Chemical Weapons Convention. The OPCW also makes use of a network of laboratories across the globe to conduct the analysis of samples collected during inspections. “And we have facilitated discussions by scientists from across the globe, who developed the Hague Guidelines – a code of ethics for chemistry professionals,” he added.

During his visit, Mr Philippe Denier also met with the Chairperson of the National Authority of Mauritius, Mr Anirood Pursunon and Prof Ponnadurai Ramasami, a Mauritius member of the OPCW Scientific Advisory Board.

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