THE HAGUE, Netherlands—21 September 2020—A series of online training modules were launched today as part of the Associate Programme, the flagship professional development course of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). The interactive programme will offer 40 professionals from 38 Member States enhanced knowledge of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), practical advice about its implementation, and chemical industry best practices. The training is offered online as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The OPCW’s Director of the International Cooperation and Assistance Division, Ms Kayoko Gotoh, stated: “The Technical Secretariat is delighted to launch this new online course. It will equip participants with both the skills and knowledge to implement the Chemical Weapons Convention, promote the peaceful uses of chemistry, and learn many practical skills that are standard practice in leading chemical facilities around the world. As well as being of high value in its own right, we will also make this programme a prerequisite for future editions of Associate Programme, which is due to resume in 2021.”
During the two-week online course, participants will learn about various safety and security aspects of the operational environment in chemical plants, acquire a range of chemical engineering and industrial management skills, and study the CWC verification regime. There are also live sessions that are made up of eight interactive training modules, video lectures, assignments, quizzes, and assessments. Through them, trainees interact with Associate Programme alumni and experts who developed this course. The platform also offers a discussion board to allow for more in-depth discussion of the course topics as well as further networking opportunities.
The 40 participants come from the following 38 OPCW Member States: Argentina, Armenia, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Botswana, Brazil, Cameroon, China, Costa Rica, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Laos, Malawi, Mauritius, Moldova, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Qatar, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Viet Nam, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Twenty-six of the participants will move forward to the full edition of the Associate Programme in 2021.
Since its inception in 2000, the OPCW Associate Programme has evolved into a major international training project aiming to enhance OPCW Member States’ economic and technological capacities, as stipulated by Article XI of the Chemical Weapons Convention.
To date, nearly 519 experts from 121 countries have participated in the training.
The Associate Programme is made possible through continuing support from the OPCW Member States and various partners, including representatives from the chemical industry, academia and international entities such as World Customs Organisation, the European Chemical Industry Council, the European Association of Chemical Distributors, the European Chemicals Agency, and the Dutch Customs Authorities.
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 declared chemical weapon stockpiles have been destroyed under OPCW verification. For its extensive efforts in eliminating chemical weapons, the OPCW received the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize.