THE HAGUE, Netherlands — 10 April 2017 — The Technical Secretariat of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) invites media representatives to request online accreditation to cover the Commemorative Ceremony to mark the 20th Anniversary of the entry into force of the Chemical Weapons Convention and the founding of the OPCW. This solemn ceremony will be held in the presence of His Majesty the King of the Netherlands at the Ridderzaal (Hall of the Knights) in The Hague on 26 April 2017.
During the ceremony, His Majesty the King together with OPCW’s Director-General, Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, will unveil a plaque acknowledging the OPCW’s anniversary.
Following the welcoming remarks by the Director-General, the Commemorative Ceremony will feature statements by dignitaries including: Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, a United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Advocate; Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, H.E. Mr Bert Koenders; the Mayor of The Hague, H. E. Mrs Pauline Krikke; and the OPCW’s Chairperson of the Conference of the States Parties, H.E. Dr Christoph Israng. Permanent Representatives and other delegates from OPCW Member States, leaders of international organisations, chemical industry and civil society, as well as dignitaries from the Netherlands will also be in attendance.
The Ceremony serves as a timely reminder of both progress in verifiably eliminating chemical weapons and promoting chemistry for peace, as well as the on-going challenges in preventing the re-emergence of chemical weapons and uniting the world to fully achieve a world permanently free of chemical weapons.
Accreditation Request Deadline and Details
Media seeking accreditation to cover the Commemorative Ceremony on 26 April at the Ridderzaal (Hall of Knights) in The Hague are required to submit an application with the requested information as soon as possible and no later than Tuesday 18 April 2017 at 13:00 CET. Space is limited.
Applications will be reviewed by the Government Information Service and OPCW. Confirmation of accreditation will be sent by email no later than Monday 24 April.
Due to the presence of His Majesty the King, special measures are in place for the event.
Media representatives will be divided into two groups. The first group will be provided seats on the mezzanine level inside the Ridderzaal (Hall of Knights) for the duration of the event.
The second group will be located in front of the building at the main entrance, with a view of the arriving distinguished guests, including His Majesty the King of the Netherlands. Due to security reasons, these journalists will NOT be able to enter the Ridderzaal for the ceremony.
Please, indicate your preferred location on the application form.
Webcast and Photos
The HD recording of the event will be available shortly after the Ceremony through the following link: https://20years.opcw.org /resources/video-gallery
OPCW Public Affairs will make available a high-resolution photo stream and the official photos after the event on https://20years.opcw.org .
08.00 – 8:30
Security check for Media
09.35 – 10:00
Arrival of Dignitaries and Group Photograph in the Ridderzaal courtyard (weather permitting)
Commemorative Ceremony of the 20th Anniversary of the OPCW
(Subject to change)
Welcome notes by the Master of Ceremonies, Ms. Annemarie van Gaal
Welcome address by the Director-General of the OPCW, H.E. Mr. Ahmet Üzümcü
Video message of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, H.E. Mr. António Guterres
Address by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, H.E. Mr. Bert Koenders
Address by Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden
Address by the Mayor of The Hague, H.E. Mrs Pauline Krikke
Address by the Chairperson of the Conference of the States Parties, H.E. Dr. Christoph Israng
Unveiling of the Commemorative plaque of the 20th Anniversary of the OPCW by His Majesty the King of the Netherlands and the Director-General of the OPCW
Screening of the OPCW Commemorative Film
Commemorative Ceremony of the 20th Anniversary of the OPCW concludes
Guest attend private reception at the Ridderzaal (closed to Media)
As the implementing body for the Chemical Weapons Convention, the OPCW oversees the global endeavour to permanently and verifiably eliminate chemical weapons. Since the Convention’s entry into force in 1997 – and with its 192 States Parties – it is the most successful disarmament treaty eliminating an entire class of weapons of mass destruction.
Over the past twenty years, nearly 95 per cent of chemical weapon stockpiles declared by possessor states have been eliminated under the watchful eye of the OPCW. One hundred and ninety-two countries committing themselves to the Chemical Weapons Convention have made it possible for 98 per cent of the global population to live under the Convention’s protection.
This achievement is the result of a global endeavour – involving nations, chemical industry, scientists, and civil society – to create and enforce the world’s most successful international disarmament treaty. For its efforts in eliminating chemical weapons, the OPCW received the 2013 Nobel Prize for Peace.