THE HAGUE, Netherlands–9 April 2021–The Government of the Philippines has contributed US$15,000 to a special Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Trust Fund to support the construction of a new facility, the OPCW Centre for Chemistry and Technology (“ChemTech Centre”).
The contribution was formalised during a ceremony between the Permanent Representative of the Philippines to the OPCW, H.E. Ambassador Jose Eduardo E. Malaya III, and OPCW Director-General, H.E. Mr Fernando Arias, which was held today at OPCW Headquarters in The Hague.
Ambassador Malaya stated: “The Philippines is committed to disarmament and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, notably chemical weapons. I commend the work of the OPCW and its vision to establish the ChemTech Centre, which aims to strengthen the Organisation’s capability against new and emerging chemical weapons threats and support capacity building among OPCW Member States.”
The Director-General expressed his gratitude to the Government of the Philippines and noted: “The Philippine contribution advances the establishment of the ChemTech Centre which will be a centrepiece for research, analysis, and training for all Member States.”
Director-General Arias also thanked all the OPCW States Parties and other donors who have supported the project. He emphasised the important role the new ChemTech Centre will play in strengthening the OPCW’s ability to address chemical weapon threats and enhance capacity building activities to the benefit of all 193 OPCW Member States.
So far, 47 countries, the European Union, and four other donors have contributed or pledged to contribute financially to the ChemTech Centre project, and €33.6M has been raised.
States Parties are encouraged to continue participating in this important project. Further voluntary contributions will also be used to finance equipment and activities related to International Cooperation and Assistance involving the ChemTech Centre.
The project to build the ChemTech Centre is on-going and seeks to strengthen the OPCW’s capabilities to fully address new and emerging chemical weapons threats, as well as to support capacity building in OPCW Member States. The current OPCW Laboratory and Equipment Store are central to the effectiveness and integrity of the verification regime of the Chemical Weapons Convention, and they also contribute to the OPCW’s capacity building and international cooperation activities. However, the current facility will soon no longer be fit-for-purpose due to its ageing infrastructure, space constraints, larger workloads, and new missions with new areas of work.
A new facility is required to meet the demands of OPCW Member States for enhanced verification tools, improved detection capabilities and response measures, as well as increased capacity building activities. The ChemTech Centre will also help the OPCW to keep pace with developments in science and technology and new chemical weapons threats. Construction of the ChemTech Centre is scheduled to begin in 2021 and the building is currently planned to be operational by the end of 2022.
To date, the following Member States have contributed or pledged to contribute to the project: Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Canada, Chile, China, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Morocco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan, Peru, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, the Republic of Korea, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States of America. The European Union, Israel (a signatory state) and other donors have also contributed.
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.