THE HAGUE, Netherlands — 21 October 2019 — The Technical Secretariat of the OPCW and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland co-organised a side-event at the UN to showcase the practical contributions that the OPCW is making to support OPCW Member States in fighting against chemical terrorism. The event, entitled “Addressing the Challenge Posed by Chemical Terrorism: OPCW Capacity Building for States Parties”, was held on 16 October 2019 at United Nations Headquarters in New York in the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly First Committee.
The event focused on capacity building in the field of assistance and protection against chemical weapons. In particular, it highlighted the successful outcomes of the Critical Incident Preparedness for Hospitals (HOSPREP) programme in Bangladesh. This was organised in July by the Bangladesh authorities with the cooperation of the Technical Secretariat under Article X of the Chemical Weapons Convention. The project helped improve the resilience of medical facilities, and resulted in impressive infrastructure investments, such as decontamination facilities, and facilitated the drafting of hospital Emergency Operations Plans.
As the implementing body for the Chemical Weapons Convention, the OPCW oversees the global endeavour to permanently and verifiably eliminate chemical weapons. Since the Convention’s entry into force in 1997 – and with its 193 States Parties – it is the most successful disarmament treaty eliminating an entire class of weapons of mass destruction.
Over 97 per cent 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 Prize for Peace.