THE HAGUE, Netherlands–21 September 2021–Mexico has contributed €5,000 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 through an exchange of letters.
The Permanent Representative of Mexico to the OPCW, H.E. Ambassador José Antonio Zabalgoitia Trejo, stated: “Mexico supports strengthening the OPCW´s role as a promoter of the peaceful uses of chemistry. The ChemTech Centre is a cornerstone for this role and will be increasingly relevant as we achieve the Chemical Weapons Convention´s goal of ridding the world of chemical weapons.”
The Director-General expressed his gratitude to Mexico and noted: “I am very pleased that Mexico has lent its support to the creation and functioning of the ChemTech Centre. The Centre should be completed by the end of next year. It will be an important step forward in how the OPCW uses science, technology and capacity building to fulfil its mandate. It will also be an essential tool to assist all 193 Member States in meeting their obligations under the Convention, for keeping pace with current threats, and preparing for future challenges.”
Director-General Arias expressed his gratitude to the OPCW States Parties and other donors who supported the project.
So far, 49 countries, the European Union, and four other donors have contributed or pledged to contribute financially to the ChemTech Centre project, and €33.65M has been raised to date.
States Parties are encouraged to continue participating in this important project. Further voluntary contributions will be used to finance equipment and activities related to International Cooperation and Assistance involving the ChemTech Centre.
The project to build the ChemTech Centre 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 started in 2021 and is planned to be finished 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, Mexico, Morocco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, the Republic of Korea, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, 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.