THE HAGUE, Netherlands — 11 April 2017 — The Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, addressed the Seventeenth Regular Session of the Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (CICTE) of the Organization of American States (OAS) on 6 April 2017, in Washington, D. C.
Ambassador Üzümcü provided an insight into OPCW’s contribution to the goals of the UN Security Council Resolution 1540 through the full and effective implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). He highlighted the long-standing cooperation with the 1540 Committee, including through the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF).
The Director-General stressed that cooperation should be further strengthened “to fully implement our legal obligations, whether these originate in international treaties such as the CWC or instruments such as UN Security Council Resolution 1540”.
Ambassador Üzümcü further reiterated OPCW’s commitment to continue to advance avenues of cooperation “with international institutions, regional and sub-regional organisations, scientific communities, chemical industry and civil society” in order to achieve the goals of the Chemical Weapons Convention.
Following the recommendations of the Second Inter-America Specialized Conference on Terrorism (November 1998), the OAS General Assembly created the Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (CICTE) with the objective of promoting and developing cooperation among member states to prevent, combat, and eliminate terrorism, in accordance with the principles of the Charter of the OAS and with the Inter-American Convention against Terrorism, and with full respect for the sovereignty of states, the rule of law, and international law, including international humanitarian law, international human rights law and international refugee law.
On 28 April 2004, the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 1540 (2004) under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter which affirms that the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and their means of delivery constitutes a threat to international peace and security. The resolution obliges States, inter alia, to refrain from supporting by any means non-State actors from developing, acquiring, manufacturing, possessing, transporting, transferring or using nuclear, chemical or biological weapons and their delivery systems.
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.
To date, nearly 95 per cent of all chemical weapon stockpiles declared by possessor States have been destroyed under OPCW verification. For its extensive efforts in eliminating chemical weapons, the OPCW received the 2013 Nobel Prize for Peace.