THE HAGUE, Netherlands–24 November 2020–Seven new inspectors taking up their positions with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) have completed the rigorous 14-week Initial Inspector Training Programme. They received their diplomas on 20 November during graduation ceremony held online due to the Covid-19 global pandemic.
OPCW Director-General, H.E. Mr Fernando Arias, presented the inspectors with their diplomas and stated: “The rapid evolution in chemical substances, science, and technology enhances the potential risk of accidents, with devastating consequences for people, infrastructure, and the environment. Our ability to attract, maintain, and develop a team of high calibre experts as you in the Secretariat is central to our capacity to prevent the re-emergence of chemical weapons. Inspectors bring diverse educational, professional, and cultural backgrounds from various fields, including industry, research, and academia.”
The Director-General also expressed his appreciation to the governments of Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the United States of America, for their substantial support for the Initial Inspector Training programme.
OPCW’s Director of the Inspectorate Division remarked: “The Inspectorate looks forward to working with these new colleagues who, having received a solid foundation of knowledge during this training course, will inject their fresh expertise and valuable range of skills into our work.”
The new group of inspectors features both geographic distribution and gender balance. The OPCW remains committed to achieving gender balance in the workplace and recruiting the best experts in every field to meet future challenges while pursuing its vision of a world free of chemical weapons.
OPCW’s Inspectorate Division focuses on the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention by deploying inspection teams to OPCW Member States. The Inspectorate monitors the destruction of declared chemical weapons stockpiles, inspects chemical industry facilities and provides assistance to protect against chemical weapons.
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.