THE HAGUE, Netherlands–20 April 2021–The Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), H.E. Mr Fernando Arias, met today with the Deputy Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran for Legal and International Affairs, H.E. Mr Mohsen Baharvand. The bilateral meeting was held in the margins of the Twenty-Fifth Session of the Conference of the States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention, taking place in The Hague from 20 to 22 April.
The Director-General briefed the Deputy Foreign Minister on the OPCW’s progress in implementing the Chemical Weapons Convention, the Organisation’s activities in addressing challenges to achieving a world free of chemical weapons, and shared perspectives with the Minister on ways of strengthening cooperation between Iran and OPCW.
Deputy Foreign Minister Baharvand stated: “Universal membership of the OPCW, full and effective implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention, and the destruction of all types of chemical weapons are essential to achieving the goal of a world free of chemical weapons. We shall make every effort to ensure that the horrible event which made the Islamic Republic of Iran the main victim of chemical weapons will not be repeated. It is unfortunate that the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic has had a further negative impact on the victims of chemical weapons.”
Director-General Arias expressed: “Iran is an important partner in maintaining the international prohibition on chemical weapons. We must not allow the suffering inflicted by chemical weapons, in Iran or in other parts of the globe, to be forgotten or to occur again. Concerted action by all States Parties to the Convention is crucial to fully eradicate the use, the threat of use, and the re-emergence of these heinous weapons.”
Iran has been an active member of the OPCW since the Chemical Weapons Convention entered into force in 1997. Iran is a member of the Executive Council, the OPCW’s executive organ, which is charged with promoting the effective implementation of and compliance with the Chemical Weapons Convention as well as supervising the activities of the Organisation’s Technical Secretariat.
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.