THE HAGUE, Netherlands — 27 September 2019 —The twentieth edition of the Associate Programme concluded in a ceremony at the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague today, marking the graduation of 32 professionals ready to take on roles related to the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).
The nine-week programme equipped scientists, chemical engineers, and technological specialists with enhanced knowledge of the Convention, practical aspects of its implementation, and best practices specific to modern chemical industry.
OPCW’s Deputy Director-General, H.E. Ambassador Odette Melono, reaffirmed the important role the programme plays in building national capacity to implement the Convention, and to facilitate the open exchange of efficient and safe chemical procedures: “The Associate Programme is adding value to global efforts to ensure that chemical weapons never re-emerge again, and that chemistry is applied exclusively for the benefit of humankind.
We appreciate that our alumni are passing on what they have learned in their places of work and beyond.
Responsible science must be a key message that we convey to future generations of scientists, and we hope you will be passionate advocates of this ideal.”
The programme ran from 26 July until 27 September 2019 and included three weeks of exercises and lectures at OPCW Headquarters, a three-week chemical engineering course at the University of Surrey in the United Kingdom, and three weeks of practical training at one of 18 industrial plant facilities located in 12 OPCW Member States in Europe, Asia and Latin America.
Participants of this year’s programme represent the following countries: Afghanistan, Algeria, Argentina, Botswana, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Georgia, India, Jamaica, Malawi, Malaysia, Moldova, Namibia, Nepal, Nigeria, Peru, Senegal, Serbia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, Uzbekistan, and Zimbabwe.
This edition of the Associate Programme was organised with the support of partners, including the University of Surrey, the World Customs Organization, the European Chemical Industry Council, the European Association of Chemical Distributors, the European Chemicals Agency, the Dutch Customs Authorities, and the City of Rotterdam and the Port of Rotterdam.
The following industry plants and facilities hosted participants during their three-week placement: Dow Química Argentina SRL (Argentina), Oxiteno SA (Brazil), Suatrans Emergência S.A. (Brazil), Ambipar Responsa SA / Suatrans (Brazil), OXIQUIM SA (Chile), PANIMEX QUÍMICA SA (Chile), Shanghai Fujia Fine Chemicals Co. Ltd. (China), Neste Oyj (Finland), BASF SE (Germany), PT. Kao Indonesia Chemicals (Indonesia), PT. Pupuk Kalimantan Timur (Indonesia), Nuova Solmine S.p.A. (Italy), C.O.I.M. S.p.A. (Italy), IOI Acidchem Sdn. Bhd. (Malaysia), Grupa Azoty SA (Poland), Grupa Azoty Zakłady Azotowe „Puławy” S.A. (Poland), Qatar Petrochemical Company Q.P.J.S.C. (Qatar), and ERCROS (Spain).
The Associate Programme represents a unique capacity building programme combining global efforts to ensure that chemical weapons do not re-emerge and that chemistry is applied exclusively to the benefit of humankind.
The Associate Programme was launched in 2000 to promote a culture of safety and best practice in chemical industries in OPCW Member States, and has so far benefited 519 professionals originating from 121 countries.
The Associate Programme’s Alumni Association serves as a networking platform for exchanging practices, scientific information, and professional experiences. The positive impact of the programme has been amplified by the outreach activities undertaken by alumni worldwide, during which they disseminate the knowledge and expertise gained during the OPCW training.
As the implementing body for the Chemical Weapons Convention, the OPCW, with its 193 Members, 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.