“Preventing the re-emergence of chemical weapons is a far broader challenge than has traditionally been associated with non-proliferation. (…) To make our disarmament gains permanent, and to invest in practical ways in preventing future proliferation, we need to develop, and to realise, a more holistic approach to global chemical security,” urged the Deputy Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Ambassador Hamid Ali Rao, in his keynote speech at the Asser Institute’s Seventh Summer Programme on Disarmament and Non-Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) held in The Hague on 5 September 2016.
The Asser Institute’s Summer Programme offers advanced graduate students and young to mid-level professionals an in-depth look at contemporary WMD issues. The curriculum covers a broad range of legal, scientific, diplomatic and geo-political aspects related to the disarmament agenda.
In his speech, the Deputy Director-General Chemical noted that “chemical disarmament has been a well-recognised success story” and expounded on new challenges as OPCW’s focus shifts away from destroying chemical weapons to preventing their re-emergence.
Ambassador Rao identified the use of chemical weapons by non-state actors as one of the greatest threats to global security. He elaborated on the ways the OPCW is addressing it, notably its support of Member States who are reinforcing extensive prohibitions of the Chemical Weapons Convention at the national level.
The Asser Institute and the OPCW launched the WMD Summer Programme in 2010. Since then, this weeklong training course has become a highly regarded educational resource for professionals with interests in WMD diplomacy. The Programme features lectures and debates led by prominent specialists in the field of chemical, nuclear and biological disarmament, including experts from the OPCW. In addition to this, attendees visit various facilities, such as the OPCW Laboratory in Rijswijk.
For more details:
- Deputy Director-General Keynote Speech: Preventing the Re‐Emergence of Chemical Weapons: Lessons for Non‐Proliferation [PDF – 120 KB]
- Asser Institute’s 2016 Summer Programme on Disarmament and Non-Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction in a Changing World