“The Associate Programme is adding value to global efforts to ensure that chemical weapons never re-emerge, and that chemistry is applied exclusively to benefit humankind”, said the OPCW Director-General, Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü at the conclusion of the seventeenth edition of the Associate Programme on 30 September at the Headquarters of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
Ambassador Üzümcü congratulated the participants on completing the flagship OPCW capacity-building programme, and emphasized that “the Programme has spearheaded the OPCW’s efforts in promoting international technical cooperation on the peaceful uses of chemistry”.
During the nine-week intensive training, the 31 participants enhanced their knowledge on the Chemical Weapons Convention and various aspects of OPCW’s work. The programme included three weeks of exercises and lectures in The Hague, a three-week chemical engineering training course at the University of Surrey, UK, and three weeks of hands-on training at an industrial plant located in one of 16 facilities across 13 Member States in Europe, Asia and Latin America. During this assignment, Associates became acquainted with best practices applied in modern chemical industries.
The Director-General emphasised the important contributions made by OPCW Member States, the University of Surrey and the hosting industries. He further expressed his appreciation for the significant support extended to the programme by the World Customs Organization, the European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC), the European Association of Chemical Distributors (FECC), the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), the Dutch Customs Authorities, the City of Rotterdam, the Port of Rotterdam and the Technical University of Delft.
The Associates have now become part of a dynamic group of 424 alumni, from 118 of the OPCW’s Member States. The Associates Programme Alumni Association serves as a valuable platform for exchanging views, scientific information, professional experiences and networking.
This year’s participants represent the following countries: Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, Burundi, Cameroon, China, Cuba, The Democratic Republic of Congo, El Salvador, Gambia, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Nigeria, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tunisia, Ukraine and Zimbabwe.
The following industrial plants have hosted the Associates:
- Solvay INDUPA (Argentina),
- Suatrans Emergência S.A. (Brazil),
- Stachema CZ s.r.o (Czech Republic),
- DuPont Nutrition Biosciences (Denmark),
- Evonik Industries A.G (Germany),
- Thirumalai Chemicals Ltd (India),
- Chandra Asri Petrochemical (Indonesia),
- Versalis S.p.A (Italy, two sites),
- Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. and Asahi Kasei Corporation (Japan),
- Petronas Fertilizer Kedah (Malaysia),
- Grupa Azoty (Poland, two sites),
- Solvay Polyamide (Spain)
- and Camso Loadstar (Pvt) Ltd (Sri Lanka).
Since its inception in 2000, the OPCW Associate Programme has evolved into a major international training project, fostering the economic and technological development of OPCW Member States.
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