THE HAGUE, Netherlands – 19 August 2020 – The Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland has made four voluntary contributions totalling £800,000 to support a number of major projects and activities of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
A contribution of £200,000 will support the activities of the Trust Fund for Syria Missions at the OPCW. The Trust Fund for Syria Missions supports the Organisation’s missions and contingency operations related to the Syrian Arab Republic including the work of the Declaration Assessment Team (DAT), the Fact-Finding Mission (FFM), and the Investigation and Identification Team (IIT).
Another contribution of £250,000 will be made to the Trust Fund for Training earmarked for assessing and enhancing the capacity of analytical laboratories from African and Latin American and Caribbean Member States.
A third contribution of £250,000 will be made to the Trust Fund for Security and Business Continuity earmarked for cyber security.
A fourth contribution of £100,000 will be made to the Trust Fund for the Implementation of Article X of the Chemical Weapons Convention. This contribution will go towards further strengthening mitigation and preparedness to respond to chemical incidents in the East Africa Community (EAC), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Regions.
The contributions were formalised during a ceremony between the Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the OPCW, H.E. Ambassador Peter Wilson, and OPCW Director-General, H.E. Mr Fernando Arias, which was held at OPCW Headquarters in The Hague.
Ambassador Wilson remarked: “I am really pleased to make this year a further substantial donation to the OPCW, which will support the Organisation across a broad range of activities to eliminate the global threat of chemical weapons and benefit all States Parties.”
The Director-General expressed: “I thank the Government of the United Kingdom for these major contributions to support OPCW activities. The United Kingdom has long been a determined supporter of the Chemical Weapons Convention. These contributions will further build the capabilities of our Member States to achieve a world free of chemical weapons.”
The OPCW Fact-Finding Mission was set up in 2014 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. Established in the same year, the Declaration Assessment Team engages the relevant Syrian authorities to resolve the identified gaps, inconsistencies and discrepancies in the Syrian declaration. 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 Members, 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.