THE HAGUE, Netherlands — 28 January 2019 — The Government of Slovakia has contributed €30,000 to a special Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Trust Fund to support the project to upgrade the current OPCW Laboratory and Equipment Store through the construction of a new Centre for Chemistry and Technology.
The donation was formalised recently with an exchange of letters between the OPCW Director-General, H.E. Mr Fernando Arias, and Slovakia’s Permanent Representative to the OPCW, H.E. Mr Roman Bužek.
The current 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 activities.
A new facility is required to meet the demands of OPCW Member States for enhanced verification tools, improved detection capabilities and response measures, as well as capacity building activities. The new Centre will also help the OPCW to keep pace with developments in science and technology and new chemical weapons threats. 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.
The Director-General has appealed to all OPCW Member States in a position to make voluntary contributions to do so. In making such appeals, he has emphasised that the new Centre is a resource for all Member States and that, “All contributions, regardless of size, are greatly appreciated”.
The project to build an OPCW Centre for Chemistry and Technology is on-going and seeks to strengthen the OPCW’s capabilities to fully address new and emerging chemical weapons threats, as well as to support capacity building in OPCW Member States. 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.
To date, the following have contributed to the project: Belgium, Canada, Netherlands Poland, the Republic of Korea, and Slovakia.
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.