THE HAGUE, Netherlands – 23 July 2020 – The Government of Japan is contributing €480,000 toward supporting the activities of the Trust Fund for Syria Missions at the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which includes the work of the Declaration Assessment Team (DAT), the Fact-Finding Mission (FFM), and the Investigation and Identification Team (IIT).
The Fund supports the Organisation’s special missions and contingency operations related specifically to the Syrian Arab Republic. The Japanese voluntary contribution was formalised with an agreement signed by the Director-General of the OPCW, H.E. Mr Fernando Arias, and H.E. Ambassador Hidehisa Horinouchi, Permanent Representative of Japan to the OPCW, at the Organisation’s headquarters in The Hague.
Ambassador Horinouchi commended the OPCW Technical Secretariat’s impartiality and professionalism, and stated: “Japan hopes that our voluntary contribution will ensure the eradication of proliferation risks regarding chemical weapons, and thereby serve to deter the use of chemical weapons, as we have seen repeatedly in the Syrian Arab Republic. This contribution embodies Japan’s unshakable commitments to achieving a world free of chemical weapons.”
The Director-General expressed his gratitude for Japan’s unwavering support, and remarked: “Japan has long been a central partner in the global disarmament regime and a determined supporter of the Chemical Weapons Convention. We thank the Government of Japan for this contribution and its commitment, which are as vital as ever to ensuring that the OPCW’s mandate is fulfilled.”
Japan has been an active member of the OPCW since the Chemical Weapons Convention entered into force in 1997. Japan 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.
The Declaration Assessment Team was established in 2014 to engage the relevant Syrian authorities to resolve the identified gaps, inconsistencies and discrepancies in the Syrian declaration.
The OPCW Fact Finding Mission was set up in the same year in response to persistent allegations of chemical weapon attacks in Syria, with the task to establish facts surrounding allegations of the use of toxic chemicals, reportedly chlorine, for hostile purposes.
The Investigation and Identification Team (IIT) is mandated to identify the perpetrators of the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic. The IIT was launched following a decision adopted by the Conference of the States Parties to the CWC at its Fourth Special Session held in June 2018.
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 98% 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.