THE HAGUE, Netherlands — 4 April 2019 — The European Union (EU) is contributing €11.6M to a number of projects and activities of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to be carried out in the next three years.
The contribution was approved by the Council of the European Union in its 1 April decision.
OPCW Director-General, H.E. Mr Fernando Arias, today met with the Permanent Representative of Romania to the OPCW, H.E. Ambassador Brândușa Predescu, on behalf of the current Presidency of the Council of the EU, and with Principal Adviser, European External Action Service, H.E. Ambassador Mika-Markus Leinonen, to thank them for the European Union’s support.
The Director-General emphasised, “The European Union is a unique example of a contribution to stability, peace and security, in solidarity with developing countries in the field of cooperation and assistance. This major contribution will enable the Organisation to continue the effective implementation of its crucial activities”.
Over the next three years, the European Union will support projects to advance the preparedness of OPCW Member States to prevent and respond to attacks involving toxic chemicals, strengthen international cooperation in the field of chemical activities, and enhance the capacities of Member States to fulfil their obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), with special consideration for assisting African Member States.
The contribution will buttress the OPCW’s ability to adapt to science and technology developments, the Organisation’s chemical demilitarisation and non-proliferation operations, as well as enhance the OPCW’s capacity to address the threat of chemical weapons use.
Measures related to education and outreach, and national implementation also fall under the decision’s scope.
Moreover, the European Union has made a contribution toward upgrading the current OPCW Laboratory and Equipment Store into a new OPCW Centre for Chemistry and Technology. The new facility will help meet the demands of OPCW Member States for enhanced verification tools, improved detection capabilities and response measures, as well as increased capacity-building activities.
The European Union has provided long-standing political, financial and in-kind support to the OPCW’s operations, including activities in Syria aimed at the total destruction of Syrian declared chemical weapons and agents.
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.