THE HAGUE, Netherlands — 26 October 2017 — A delegation from Nigeria led by Senator Robert Borofice, a member of the Senate of the Federal Government of Nigeria, gained a deeper understanding of the work of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) during a visit to OPCW Headquarters in The Hague from 18 to 20 October.
The delegation included the Permanent Secretary and Chairman of the National Authority on the Chemical and Biological Weapons Convention (NACBWC), Mr Gabriel Aduda; Deputy Director of NACBWC, Mr Ilariogun Olanrewaju Duro; and Senior Counsellor, Permanent Representation of Nigeria to the OCPW, Mrs Rabi Usman.
During the visit, the delegation met with OPCW Director-General, Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, and senior staff members to discuss Nigeria’s national implementation of the CWC, ongoing efforts to universalise the CWC, recent progress made on the destruction of chemical weapons, and the various assistance programmes offered by the OPCW.
The Director-General emphasised the importance of having comprehensive legislation to serve as a mechanism for effective national implementation, the need to enhance sub/regional cooperation and national capacity building. He also encouraged the delegation to further enhance Nigerian participation in activities organised by the Technical Secretariat. On the last day of the Programme, the delegation also visited the OPCW Laboratory in Rijswijk.
This visit enabled the delegates to gain a better understanding of the Convention and provided a valuable opportunity for them to prepare and present an action plan for the adoption of the draft legislation by 2018.
“The Influential Visitors Programme has made us more aware of the important work being undertaken by the OPCW. Nigeria remains committed to doing its part and fulfilling its obligations under the CWC”, said Mr Aduda.
Nigeria received assistance from the OPCW in developing and finalising its draft legislation in early 2017. The visit was conducted as part of the OPCW’s Influential Visitors Programme, which supports States Parties in the process of adopting national implementing legislation.
The Influential Visitors Programme was successfully launched in 2015 to support Uganda. It resulted in the adoption of national legislation by the Parliament of Uganda.
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 96 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.