More emphasis must be placed upon education and outreach programmes that promote the knowledge and skills needed to prevent the re-emergence of chemical weapons, according to The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons’ (OPCW) Advisory Board on Education and Outreach (ABEO).
Last week in The Hague, the ABEO held its second meeting since its establishment in 2015. Its mandate is to provide advice on areas of education and outreach relevant to the Organisation’s objectives.
During an address to the Board, the OPCW Director-General, Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, recounted a series of recent challenges the Organisation has overcome – most recently, the operation to remove the remaining chemical weapon precursors from Libya – and their implications for the Board’s work.
The Director-General further highlighted the important role the Board plays in upholding the international norm against chemical weapons, and called upon the Board to help build awareness of the Chemical Weapons Convention and encourage others to support the OPCW’s objectives.
The Board made a number of recommendations designed to reinforce the OPCW’s education and outreach efforts and to increase support of the Convention’s goals. These related primarily to the OPCW’s 20th anniversary celebrations next year, youth outreach, civil society engagement and public diplomacy. The Board also focused on supporting States Parties’ education and outreach activities.
The Advisory Board on Education and Outreach was established by the Conference of the States Parties and is composed of 15 experts from around the world. It held its inaugural meeting in April 2016 and its next meeting will be held in The Hague in March 2017.
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