THE HAGUE, Netherlands—5 August 2020—The State of Israel has pledged to contribute €12,500 to a special Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Trust Fund to support the project of the OPCW Centre for Chemistry and Technology (“ChemTech Centre”).
Israel is a signatory state of the Chemicals Weapon Convention.
The pledge was announced during a meeting between OPCW Director-General, H.E. Mr Fernando Arias, and H.E. Naor Gilon, Ambassador of Israel to the Netherlands, held on 31 July at the OPCW Headquarters in The Hague.
Ambassador Gilon remarked: ‘’The State of Israel supports the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and hopes that the new ChemTech Centre will assist the organization in pursuit of its goals.’’
The Director-General briefed the Ambassador on the OPCW’s progress in implementing the Chemical Weapons Convention, and provided a status update on the ChemTech Centre project. Director-General Arias and Ambassador Gilon acknowledged the need to intensify international cooperation and assistance to promote the peaceful application of science and technology.
The Director-General stated: “I thank the Government of Israel for this contribution to the new OPCW Centre for Chemistry and Technology. The Centre will be another example of how the Chemical Weapons Convention and the work of the OPCW provides benefits to the international community in terms of peaceful applications of the use of chemistry.”
The OPCW and its Member States continue to engage with all countries in the world about the importance of the Convention and its implementation, and how it contributes to regional and international peace and security.
Director-General Arias appealed to all OPCW Member States in a position to make voluntary contributions to do so. He further emphasised the important role the new ChemTech Centre will play in strengthening the OPCW’s ability to address chemical weapon threats and enhance capacity building activities. He highlighted that “all contributions, regardless of size, are greatly appreciated”.
The project to build the ChemTech Centre is on-going and seeks to strengthen the OPCW’s capabilities to fully address new and emerging chemical weapons threats, as well as to support capacity building in OPCW Member States. The current OPCW Laboratory and Equipment Store are central to the effectiveness and integrity of the verification regime of the Chemical Weapons Convention, and they also contribute to the OPCW’s capacity-building and international cooperation activities. However, the current facility will soon no longer be fit-for-purpose due to its ageing infrastructure, space constraints, larger workloads, and new missions with new areas of work.
A new facility is required to meet the demands of OPCW Member States for enhanced verification tools, improved detection capabilities and response measures, as well as increased capacity-building activities. The ChemTech Centre will also help the OPCW to keep pace with developments in science and technology and new chemical weapons threats. The OPCW Technical Secretariat is developing a detailed project plan for the construction of the ChemTech Centre, and a Trust Fund for voluntary contributions has been established to secure the required resources for the project.
To date, the following Member States have contributed or pledged to contribute to the project: Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Canada, Chile, China, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Morocco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan, Peru, Poland, Portugal, the Republic of Korea, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States of America. Israel, a signatory to the Chemical Weapons Convention, and the European Union have also contributed.
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.