THE HAGUE, Netherlands — 11 April 2017 — Recounting two decades of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons’ (OPCW) achievements, the Organisation’s Deputy Director-General, Mr Hamid Ali Rao, drew a clear vision of the future, in which the OPCW is agile and effective in tackling new challenges.
This message was part of Mr Rao’s keynote address at the International Conference on Chemical Disarmament and Security: The OPCW’s Contributions to Global Peace and Security, held in Doha, Qatar, from 10-11 April.
“Our achievements are valuable, but we must remain focused on the future. The threat of chemical weapons remains, and it requires a concrete response by States and international organisations,” he expressed.
Mr Rao underlined that OPCW’s experience over the last twenty years holds valuable lessons. “We must reinforce our determination to build on them for the sake of a safe and peaceful world,“ stated the Deputy Director-General.
The conference gathered representatives of OPCW Member States, international and regional organisations, chemical industry, academia and civil society, who discussed OPCW’s contribution to chemical disarmament and security in the past 20 years.
The Deputy Director-General opened an exhibition accompanying the conference that explores key themes of the two decades of OPCW’s work and accomplishments.
The event was organised jointly by the OPCW and the Government of Qatar.
Mr Rao also held bilateral meetings with high Qatari officials, including Minister of Energy and Industry, H.E. Dr Mohammed Bin Saleh Al-Sada; Chief of Staff of the Qatari Armed Forces, H.E. Major General (Pilot) Ghanem bin Shaheen Al Ghanem; and Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Dr Ahmad Hassan Al-Hamadi.
Qatar joined the Chemical Weapons Convention in 1997. It actively engages with and supports OPCW activities, including those that build national and regional capacity through the OPCW’s international cooperation and assistance programmes.
Qatar successfully operates the Doha Centre for Regional CRBN Training.
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.