THE HAGUE, Netherlands — 28 May 2019 — The Government of Slovenia has contributed €20,000 to support significant projects and activities of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
The donation was formalised yesterday at the Organisation’s Headquarters in The Hague at a ceremony involving the OPCW Director-General, H.E. Mr Fernando Arias, and Slovenia’s Permanent Representative to the OPCW, H.E. Ambassador Sanja Štiglic.
Ambassador Štiglic, on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia, announced the decision to contribute € 20,000 and remarked: “Slovenia strongly supports the OPCW’s activities aiming for the goal of a world free of chemical weapons and the threat of their use. This includes investigating and attributing responsibility for documented use of chemical weapons in Syria, as well as increasing training and capacity building capabilities offered to States Parties through the construction of a new facility, the OPCW Centre for Chemistry and Technology.”
Director-General Arias stated: “I wish to express my sincere thanks to the government of Slovenia for this contribution. Without the continued support of all the States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention, the OPCW would not be able to carry out its important work around the world.”
Slovenia contributed €10,000 to a special OPCW Trust Fund to support the project to upgrade the current OPCW Laboratory and Equipment Store. This project will result in the construction of a new facility, which will meet the demands of OPCW States Parties for enhanced verification tools, improved detection capabilities and response measures, as well as increased capacity-building activities.
Slovenia contributed another € 10,000 toward the Trust Fund for Syria Missions for the OPCW to identify the perpetrators of chemical weapons attacks in the Syrian Arab Republic.
The project to build the OPCW Centre for Chemistry and Technology is on-going and seeks to strengthen the OPCW’s Science and Technology capabilities to fully address the real threat of chemical weapons, as well as to support capacity building in OPCW Member States. However, the current facility will soon no longer be fit-for-purpose due to its ageing infrastructure, space constraints, larger workloads, and new missions with new areas of work.
To date, the following States Parties have contributed or pledged to contribute to the project: Bangladesh, Belgium, Canada, Estonia, France, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, the Republic of Korea, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States of America. The European Union has also contributed.
The Investigation and Identification Team set-up pursuant to the Decision adopted by the States Parties on the Special Session held last June is tasked with the identification of the perpetrators of the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic as determined by the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission. Its work will contribute to uphold then integrity of the Chemical Weapons Convention. The OPCW’s Technical Secretariat is currently assembling a team of experts and setting up necessary procedures.
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.
Ninety-seven percent 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.