THE HAGUE, Netherlands — 1 July 2020 — The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) organised an online Peaceful Uses of Chemistry Forum today with the aim of determining the way forward for the OPCW’s capacity building programme in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The forum, tailored for government agencies, academia and chemical industry representatives in the Asia region, provided a platform for Member States to further identify potential areas for international cooperation with regards to peaceful uses of chemistry.
Attendees and experts shared lessons learned and best practices related to OPCW’s online capacity building programmes. The forum gave participants an opportunity to identify needs, gaps and suggestions about the new platform.
OPCW’s Head of the International Cooperation Branch, Mr Li Zhao, highlighted the importance of promoting peaceful uses of chemistry in the development of economic and technology in OPCW Member States. He underscored the importance of commitment and support from all stakeholders, and cultivating partnerships towards delivering a new approach to capacity building with the aim of improving the chemical management in safety and security
During the forum, participants shared best practices of capacity building programme on chemical safety and security through an online platform. They also shared aspects of trends and gaps in online capacity building programmes and discussed the benefit and challenges of online learning compared to an in-person setting.
The course was attended by 22 participants and 7 panel experts from: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the United States of America and Vietnam.
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.