THE HAGUE, Netherlands – 28 August 2019 – The Kingdom of Norway has made a voluntary contribution of €100,000 toward supporting the activities of the Trust Fund for Syria Missions at the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
This voluntary fund supports the Organisation’s special missions and contingency operations related to the Syrian Arab Republic including the work of the Declaration Assessment Team (DAT), the Fact-Finding Mission (FFM), and the Investigation and Identification Team (IIT). The Norwegian contribution aims to equip the OPCW with the means to maintain its professional and impartial standards in addressing the threat from chemical weapons use.
OPCW Director-General, H.E. Mr Fernando Arias, and Permanent Representative of Norway to the OPCW, H.E. Ambassador Martin Sørby, marked the voluntary contribution during a ceremony today at the Organisation’s headquarters in The Hague.
Expressing his gratitude for Norway’s on-going support for the OPCW, the Director-General remarked: “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 tangible commitment to countering the threat posed by chemical weapons use.”
The European Union and the following OPCW Member States have so far contributed to the Fund this year: Australia, Canada, Germany, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States of America.
The Director-General has appealed to all OPCW Member States in a position to make voluntary contributions to do so, emphasising that “identifying perpetrators will advance existing endeavours to tackle the re-emergence of use of chemical weapons”.
The Kingdom of Norway joined the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) in 1997 and has actively contributed and supported OPCW programmes and projects.
The Investigation and Identification Team (IIT) is mandated to identify the perpetrators of the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic. The IIT was launched following a decision adopted by the Conference of the States Parties to the CWC at its Fourth Special Session held in June 2018.
The OPCW Fact Finding Mission was set up in 2014 in response to persistent allegations of chemical weapon attacks in Syria, with the task to establish facts surrounding allegations of the use of toxic chemicals, reportedly chlorine, for hostile purposes.
Established in the same year, the Declaration Assessment Team engages the relevant Syrian authorities to resolve the identified gaps, inconsistencies and discrepancies in the Syrian declaration.
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 97% 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.