Flagship OPCW programme equips chemistry professionals with skills to succeed in modern chemical industry

Online version of Associate Programme helps participants develop knowledge of industry’s obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and strategies to improve chemical plant safety and security

1 June 2021
Flagship OPCW programme equips chemistry professionals with skills to succeed in modern chemical industry

THE HAGUE, Netherlands1 June 2021Chemistry and chemical engineering professionals today concluded an online course which forms part of the Associate Programme, the flagship professional development initiative by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). This course was held from 19 May to 1 June and will be followed up by further training later in the year.

The OPCW’s Head of International Cooperation Branch, Mr. Li Zhao, emphasised: “The Associate Programme continues to serve as a central tool to build the capacity of Member States to implement the Chemical Weapons Convention. In response to the pandemic, this interactive online course has been designed to enable the participants to understand the CWC, its verification requirements, and prepare them for participation in future in-person activities.” 

The attendees learned about process safety and security in a chemical plant’s operational environment and explored a range of best practice from industry. The course also assisted in building diverse skills in chemical engineering and industrial management, including chemical industrial processes and chemical plant security management.

During live sessions, the participants interacted with experts and Associate Programme alumni, which provided an opportunity for further in-depth discussions and professional networking.

The 27 participants, all scientists, chemical engineers, or technology specialists, represented the following 18 OPCW Member States: Afghanistan, Bahrain, Cambodia, Cameroon, Chile, Colombia, Ethiopia, Iran, Iraq, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Philippines, the State of Palestine, the Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.


The OPCW Associate Programme represents a unique capacity building programme combining global efforts to ensure that chemical weapons do not re-emerge and that chemistry is applied exclusively to the benefit of humankind.

The Associate Programme was launched in 2000 to promote a culture of safety and best practice in chemical industries in OPCW Member States and has so far benefited 519 professionals from 121 countries.

The Associate Programme’s Alumni Association serves as a networking platform for exchanging practices, scientific information, and professional experiences. The positive impact of the programme has been amplified by the outreach activities undertaken by alumni worldwide, during which they disseminate the knowledge and expertise gained during the OPCW training.

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.

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