THE HAGUE, Netherlands —29 October 2018 — The Director-General of the OPCW, H.E. Mr Fernando Arias, addressed the annual meeting of the Board of Directors of the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA) about the importance of cooperation between and chemical industry for attaining the goals of the Chemical Weapons Convention.
In the meeting, which took place in Amsterdam on 26 October, the Director-General expressed: “Cooperation between us is vital for the fulfilment of the promise of the Convention — a world free of chemical weapons.” He also highlighted challenges facing the OPCW such as the re-emergence of chemical weapons. He underscored, “The re-emergence of chemical weapons is a collective threat that can only be dealt with through collective action”.
The ICCA Board members expressed their continuing commitment to work together for the use of chemistry to the benefit of humankind. The ICCA Board of Directors consists of Chief Executive Officers and other top executives of leading chemical manufacturers from around the world. The Board guides the activities of ICCA, whose member associations and manufacturers represent over 90% of global chemical sales.
The Director-General also attended and addressed the annual meeting of the OPCW-ICCA Joint Steering Committee to review progress made in the past year and discuss priorities for the future. The Committee was established through an exchange of letters in 2015 and serves as a mechanism to guide cooperation and joint activities between the OPCW and ICCA.
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 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.