THE HAGUE, Netherlands–1 December 2020–The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) observed today the annual Day of Remembrance for All Victims of Chemical Warfare. The ceremony took place during the Twenty-Fifth Session of the Conference of the States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention.
The Conference Chairperson, H.E. Ambassador José Antonio Zabalgoitia Trejo of Mexico stated: “This is a moment to remind ourselves of the human cost of chemical warfare and reaffirm the international community’s dedication to the OPCW’s mission. The impetus behind that mission is essentially humanitarian: to make certain no one else ever has to endure the agony and the consequences of the use of chemical weapons.”
To pay homage to the victims of chemical warfare, a minute of silence was observed.
The format of the ceremony was modified following health and safety restrictions due to Covid-19. The ceremony was webcast live.
Each year, the Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare provides an opportunity for OPCW Member States to pay tribute to the victims of chemical warfare and to reaffirm their commitment to exclude completely the possibility of the use of chemical weapons through the implementation of the provisions of the Chemical Weapons Convention.
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.