THE HAGUE, Netherlands —3 December 2019 — The Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), H.E. Mr Fernando Arias, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Finland, H.E. Mr. Pekka Haavisto, met yesterday at OPCW headquarters in The Hague.
The Director-General and the Minister of Foreign Affairs discussed progress in the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), and the Organisation’s activities to address current challenges in achieving the total and permanent elimination of chemical weapons, while promoting scientific advances for peaceful purposes.
Minister Haavisto expressed: “Preserving the integrity of the norm against the use of chemical weapons is an absolute priority for Finland. I would like to thank the OPCW and the Secretariat for its commitment to this task, under increasingly difficult circumstances. We will continue to offer our support to the OPCW in the future. Subject to ordinary parliamentary procedures, Finland will contribute €100,000 for OPCW’s Centre for Chemistry and Technology in 2020.”
The Director-General stated: “Finland has my sincere gratitude for its commitment to the Convention and its continued support for the Organisation, including our new ChemTech Centre. We look forward to our continued cooperation to ensure chemical weapons are eliminated and that chemistry is used for exclusively peaceful purposes.”
Following the Minister’s announcement that Finland would make a financial contribution to the new ChemTech Centre, the Director-General provided a status update on the project, emphasising its importance in strengthening technological development and fostering peaceful uses of chemistry.
Finland joined the Chemical Weapons Convention in 1997 and has been an active supporter of the OPCW’s activities throughout the years.
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.