THE HAGUE, Netherlands — 1 July 2020 — The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), within the framework of the fifth phase of its Programme to Strengthen Cooperation with Africa on the Chemical Weapons Convention, also known as the Africa Programme, has introduced today in a video presentation shared with all Member States, a series of project proposals for voluntary funding from OPCW Member States and other interested entities.
Eight new and innovative projects with a total estimated budget of nearly €1.2 million were presented. They address the three overarching areas of needs expressed by African Member States for the current phase of the Africa Programme (2020-2022) with a focus on chemical security, laboratory capacity development, and national implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention.
In his introductory remarks the Director-General of the OPCW, H.E. Fernando Arias, invited Member States to familiarise themselves with the projects, stating that “the implementation of these projects will upgrade the impact of the Africa Programme and will contribute directly to advancing the implementation of the Convention and the achievement of its goals in the continent”. He also encouraged interested Member States to consider contributing to funding these projects, and noted that funding possibilities are also open for non-State entities.
In accordance with the concept of the 5th Phase of the Africa Programme (Note by the Director-General EC-93/DG.9), which was noted by the 93rd session of the Executive Council in March this year, special projects are to be proposed by the OPCW Technical Secretariat for voluntary funding, with a view to further promoting the achievement of the goals of the Africa Programme, in addition to the capacity building events supported by the regular budget.
The full fledged project proposals are made available on the OPCW Extranet.
The OPCW Africa Programme’s proposed eight new projects include: Africa CHEMEX: Developing Chemical Emergency Response Capacity in Africa; Regional Conference on Enforcing Effective Control over the Trade in Toxic Chemicals in Africa; Specialised Analytical Chemistry Course for Laboratories Supporting Customs Services in Africa; Peer–to-Peer Customs “Train the Trainers” Courses delivered by African customs training institutions with the Support of the OPCW Specialised Course on Equipment Maintenance for African Laboratories; Influential Visitors Programme for Members of the Pan African Parliament; Legal Workshop for African Parliamentary Institutions; and Enhancing South-South Cooperation through Mentorship/Partnership Programme.
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.