THE HAGUE, Netherlands — 18 October 2018 — The Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), H.E. Mr Fernando Arias, and Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation of the Kingdom of Spain, H.E. Mr Josep Borrell Fontelles, met today at the OPCW Headquarters in The Hague.
The Director-General and the Minister of Foreign of Affairs examined the progress and challenges in implementing the global ban against chemical weapons, and discussed Spain’s efforts to support the Organisation’s work.
The upcoming Fourth Review Conference was discussed as States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention are anticipated to set a strategic direction for the OPCW for the next five years and beyond. The discussion further covered OPCW’s engagement in addressing the threat of chemical weapons use, as well as expanding the Organisation’s laboratory capabilities into an OPCW Centre for Chemistry and Technology.
The Director-General remarked: “Today, when we confront powerful security shifts and challenges, let me express gratitude for Spain’s abiding commitment to the international norm against chemical weapons, and for its concrete actions to assist the OPCW fulfil its mission.”
The Foreign Minster stated: “Spain, as an active member of the OPCW, recognises the crucial role played nowadays by the Organisation in the construction of a world free from chemical weapons. The success of the OPCW in achieving its noble goals is not only our own success, but also a faithful reflection of our historic responsibility to work towards the full elimination of all weapons of mass destruction.”
The Kingdom of Spain joined the Chemical Weapons Convention in 1997 and has actively contributed to a variety of OPCW’s programmes and projects.
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.