THE HAGUE, Netherlands — 14 December 2018 — Laboratory specialists from 19 Member States of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) advanced their skills in the analysis of chemicals relevant to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), during the Analytical Chemistry Course, held in Indian Institute of Chemical technology, (IICT) from 3 – 14 December held in Hyderabad, India.
The Chairman of the National Authority for the CWC in India, Mr Bhupendra Singh, was the chief guest at the opening ceremony and Dr S. Chandrasekhar, IICT’s Director, delivered welcome remarks.
In his speech, Dr S. Chandrasekhar underlined the benefits of OPCW’s capacity building programmes not only for the development of technical laboratory skills, but also for the promotion of culture of chemistry for peace.
OPCW’s representative, Mr Rohan Perera, noted in his remarks that: “The workshop aims to strengthen international-cooperation programmes that focus on analysis of Convention related substances”.
The 19 attendees learned about the main provisions of the Chemical Weapons Convention and OPCW’s mission and activities, with special focus on chemical laboratory safety and security management.
The practical segment included training in Gas Chromatography (GC) and Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GCMS) for the analysis of chemicals related to the Convention. Good laboratory practice, sample preparation and the application of the OPCW Central Analytical Database (OCAD) in compound identification were also covered during this two weeks training.
The event was organised by the OPCW and the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology.
The course’s participants represented the following OPCW Member States: Algeria, Bangladesh, Brazil, Costa Rica, Chile, Ethiopia, Iran, Mexico, Moldova, Morocco, Nigeria, Panama, Serbia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tunisia, Uganda, Viet Nam and Zimbabwe.
The OPCW analytical chemistry courses are designed for chemists from laboratories in Member States with the objective of building domestic capacity and promoting international cooperation in the field of peaceful uses of chemistry.
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.