THE HAGUE, Netherlands —12 November 2018 — The Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), H.E. Mr Fernando Arias, attended the Armistice Commemoration in Ieper, Belgium on 11 November.
The event marked the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I and proclaimed a universal message of peace.
The Director-General participated in the ceremony at the Belgian Memorial that honoured the Belgian casualties of World War I.
Afterwards, the Director-General laid a wreath at the Menin Gate Memorial during the Last Post ceremony, to pay his respects.
The Ieper Armistice Commemorations gathered a large number of officials; senior representatives of international organisations and civil society; and the public.
Ieper is the location of the first large scale use of chemical weapons, which took place during World War I on 22 April 1915.
On the occasion of the Centennial Commemoration of the First Large-Scale Use of Chemical Weapons at Ieper in 2015, the OPCW Member States issued the Ieper Declaration restating their commitment to combat chemical weapons.
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.