THE HAGUE, Netherlands — 1 November 2019 — The Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), H.E. Mr Fernando Arias, and the French Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs, H.E. Mr Jean-Yves Le Drian, met today at OPCW Headquarters in The Hague.
The Director-General briefed the Europe and Foreign Affairs Minister on the OPCW’s progress in implementing the Chemical Weapons Convention. Following France’s $1.5 million USD contribution to the new OPCW Centre for Chemistry and Technology project earlier this year, the Director-General also provided a status update on the project.
Both the Director-General and the Minister further acknowledged the need to intensify international cooperation and assistance to promote the peaceful application of science and technology.
The Director-General stated: “France has my sincere gratitude for its steadfast commitment to the goals of the Convention and for its support of the OPCW. We look forward to our continued cooperation to ensure that chemical weapons become a thing of the past.”
The Europe and Foreign Affairs Minister reiterated France’s strong support for the OPCW and continuous political commitment to a world free of chemical weapons and against impunity for the use of such weapons. He further stated: “Today, I announced a $1 million USD contribution for OPCW activities related to Syria, which remains a priority for France. This comes in addition to previous support, including a $1.5 million USD contribution to the OPCW ChemTech Centre that will notably enhance international cooperation.”
France has been an active member of the OPCW since the Chemical Weapons Convention entered into force in 1997. France is a member of the Executive Council, the OPCW’s executive organ, which is charged with promoting the effective implementation of and compliance with the Chemical Weapons Convention as well as supervising the activities of the Organisation’s Technical Secretariat.
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.