THE HAGUE, Netherlands — 15 November 2019 — Experts from OPCW Member States converged on the CBRN Training and Testing Centre in Zemianske Kostol’any, Slovakia for an Advanced Laboratory Skills Training Course from 4 to 14 November.
The training course, co-organized by the Slovak National Authority and the OPCW Technical Secretariat, was a unique opportunity for ten chemists and laboratory professionals from eight States Parties, in particular those from countries without laboratories dealing with Schedule 1 chemicals, to experience live chemical agents first hand in laboratory conditions.
“The National Authority is honoured to provide training with chemical warfare agents under laboratory conditions,” said Filip Varga, State Counsellor and Slovak National Authority coordinator.
Through the Advanced Laboratory Skills Training course, the government of the Slovak Republic has been availing the opportunity to the scientific community of States Parties since 2005. This course for chemists, together with the ‘field based’ course for responders is conducted each spring, constitutes Slovakia’s offer of assistance to the OPCW under paragraph 7 of Article X of the Chemical Weapons Convention.
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.