OPCW Director-General Visits the United States

22 June 2018
The OPCW Director-General, Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, meeting with Deputy Secretary of State for the U.S. Department of State, Mr John J. Sullivan

The OPCW Director-General, Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, meeting with Deputy Secretary of State for the U.S. Department of State, Mr John J. Sullivan

THE HAGUE, Netherlands— 22 June 2018 —The Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, met with Deputy Secretary of State for the U.S. Department of State, Mr John J. Sullivan and separately with Deputy Senior Director for WMD & Biodefense for the National Security Council (NSC), MG Julie A. Bentz, during his visit to Washington, D.C. from 18-20 June.

He briefed them on OPCW’s latest activities to prevent the re-emergence and use of chemical weapons. He also thanked officials for the United States’ consistent support for the OPCW. The Deputy Secretary of State and Deputy Senior Director of the NSC have both reiterated the strong support of the U.S. Government for the OPCW.

    Deputy Secretary of State for the U.S. Department of State, Mr John J. Sullivan, and OPCW Director-General, Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, shake hands. 

    Deputy Secretary of State for the U.S. Department of State, Mr John J. Sullivan, and OPCW Director-General, Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, shake hands. 

    On 19 June, the Director-General was the keynote speaker for the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) event on “Restoring Restraint: Accountability for Users of Chemical Weapons”, during his visit to Washington, D.C. from 18 to 20 June. He spoke about a number of recent chemical weapons incidents across the world and the need to uphold the norm against the use of chemical weapons. He stated: “In order to sustain effectiveness, the international community must come together on a few fundamental imperatives. Recent events underscore the need for an agreement to respond fully when instances of chemical weapons use are uncovered.”

    Background

    The United States ratified the Chemical Weapons Convention in 1997 and has been an active supporter of the Convention and OPCW’s activities throughout the years.

    As the implementing body for the Chemical Weapons Convention, the OPCW oversees the global endeavour to permanently eliminate chemical weapons. Since the Convention’s entry into force in 1997 – with its 193 States Parties – it is the most successful disarmament treaty eliminating an entire class of weapons of mass destruction. 

    Over 96% 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 Peace Prize.

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