THE HAGUE, Netherlands — 23 January 2019 — The Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), H.E. Mr Fernando Arias, met with the State Secretary for Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Norway, H.E. Mr Audun Halvorsen, during a visit to OPCW Headquarters in The Hague today.
The Director-General and the State Secretary discussed progress in the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), as well as the June 2018 decision by the States Parties to address the threat from chemical weapons use.
With reference to that decision, and in accordance with the Programme and Budget decision of the OPCW for 2019, the State Secretary announced a voluntary contribution of €100,000 from Norway to the Trust Fund for Syria Missions. He remarked: “Norway has always been a strong supporter of the work of the OPCW to keep the world free of chemical weapons. This is now more important than ever. This grant will contribute to the identification of the perpetrators of chemical weapons use in Syria, and, hence, contribute to increased security and diminishing human suffering in Syria.”
The discussions further focused on the implications of the recent Fourth Review Conference for OPCW’s future activities, and the expansion of the Organisation’s laboratory capabilities through the construction of a Centre for Chemistry and Technology.
The Director-General thanked the State Secretary for Foreign Affairs for the contribution and expressed: “The work of the OPCW is sustained by the humanity’s desire to live in a world free of chemical weapons and underpinned by the support of State Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention. I want to express my thanks to Norway for its long-standing and staunch commitment to verifiably eliminating chemical weapons.”
The Kingdom of Norway 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.