THE HAGUE, Netherlands —14 November 2018 — The Government of Poland will contribute €100,000 to a special Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Trust Fund to support the upgrade the current OPCW Laboratory and Equipment Store through the construction of a new Centre for Chemistry and Technology.
The donation was formalised with a transfer of a letter by the Permanent Representative of Poland to the OPCW, H.E. Mr Marcin Czepelak, to OPCW Director-General, H.E. Mr Fernando Arias, on 14 November at OPCW Headquarters in The Hague.
On accepting the document, the Director-General stated: “I thank the Government of Poland for this generous contribution to the new OPCW Centre for Chemistry and Technology. This new and modern facility will address States Parties’ needs for enhanced verification and capacity-building activities, and will ensure the OPCW keeps pace with developments in science and technology and new chemical weapons threats.”
Ambassador Czepelak remarked: “This decision is a clear illustration of Poland’s support to the OPCW Technical Secretariat’s efforts in this challenging time, an unequivocal sign of trust and confidence in its dedication, professionalism, and expertise. In a broader sense, this step visibly confirms Poland’s utmost attachment to the idea of the world free of chemical weapons, now and in the future.”
The Director-General further encouraged other OPCW Member States to make voluntary contributions. He reiterated, “The new Centre will benefit all OPCW Member States and all assistance to realise this project is greatly appreciated”.
The OPCW Laboratory and Equipment Store are central to the effectiveness and integrity of the verification regime of the Chemical Weapons Convention, and they also contribute to the OPCW’s capacity-building and international cooperation and assistance activities.
A new facility is required to meet the demands of OPCW Member States for enhanced and increased verification and capacity-building activities to respond to emerging chemical weapons threats and to support States Parties’ activities in chemistry that are not prohibited by the Chemical Weapons Convention. The current facility will soon no longer be fit-for-purpose due to ageing infrastructure, space constraints, larger workloads, and new missions with new areas of work.
The OPCW Technical Secretariat is developing a detailed project plan for the construction of the Centre for Chemistry and Technology, and a Trust Fund for voluntary contributions has been established to secure the required resources for the project.
Other contributors to this project so far include Belgium, Canada and the Republic of Korea.
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.