THE HAGUE, Netherlands — 14 March 2019 — The Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), H.E. Mr Fernando Arias, met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Guatemala, H.E. Ms Sandra Erica Jovel Polanco, during a visit to OPCW Headquarters in The Hague yesterday.
The Director-General and the Minister of Foreign Affairs discussed progress in implementing the Chemical Weapons Convention. The discussion also focused on enhancing the OPCW’s capabilities to address the threat from chemical weapons use and the project to upgrade the Organisation’s Laboratory into a Centre for Chemistry and Technology.
Both officials acknowledged the need to intensify international cooperation and assistance to promote the peaceful application of science and technology and to advance the sustainable development of OPCW Member States.
The Director-General expressed: “Guatemala has my sincere gratitude for its staunch commitment to the goals of the Convention and for its support of the Organisation. Only together can we rise to the security challenges of this century, including the permanent eradication of chemical weapons from our planet.”
The Minister of Foreign Affairs stated: “Our ultimate goal in this Organisation is to achieve a world free of chemical weapons and in that regard, the Convention and the OPCW are our only instruments. We must preserve them”.
The Republic of Guatemala joined the Chemical Weapons Convention in 2003 and has been an active member of the OPCW ever since.
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.