THE HAGUE, Netherlands — 19 September 2018 — The Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Ambassador Fernando Arias, met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Algeria, H.E. Abdelkader Messahel, and senior Algerian officials during a visit to Algiers on 18 September 2018.
In his meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Director-General recognised the important role played by Algeria since the inception of the OPCW and its important contribution to peace and stability in the North Africa and Sahel region. He stated: “I am impressed by the continued and strong commitment of Algeria to the goals of the Chemical Weapons Convention. Algeria’s support will be of high importance for the OPCW to fulfil its current and new roles and responsibilities.”
The Minister of Foreign Affairs reiterated Algeria’s support for the activities of the OPCW, including in the forthcoming implementation of the decision taken by the Special Session of the Conference of States Parties on 27 June 2018 addressing the threat posed by the use of chemical weapons. The two sides recognised Algeria’s remarkable achievements in developing its National Institute of Forensic Science and Criminology of the National Gendarmerie. The National Institute will try to obtain soon the status of OPCW Designated Laboratory.
After the meeting, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Director-General made a joint press appearance during which both sides pledged to continue to work together to address the threat posed by the use of chemical weapons while acknowledging the need to further enhance capacity-building, cooperation, and exchange in the field of the peaceful uses of chemicals.
During his visit, the Director-General held separate meetings with the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Ambassador Noureddine Ayadi, and the Head of the Algerian National Authority, Major-General Djamel Gueroui. The Director-General also visited the National Institute for Forensic Science and Criminology and the Museum of Armed Forces.
Algeria was one of the first signatories of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) when it opened for signature in January 1993. During the negotiations of the CWC, Algeria chaired the Conference of Disarmament. Algeria became a State Party to the Convention in 1997 and has been an active contributor to the work of the OPCW.
As the implementing body for the Chemical Weapons Convention, the OPCW, with its 193 Member States, oversees the global endeavour to permanently eliminate chemical weapons. Since the Convention’s entry into force in 1997, 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.