THE HAGUE, Netherlands—1 September 2021—The Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), H.E. Mr Fernando Arias, and the Deputy Minister for Legal and Multilateral Affairs of the Republic of Iraq, H.E. Dr Kahtan Al-Janabi, met today to discuss progress in the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).
The Director-General briefed the Deputy Minister on a range of topics including the OPCW’s progress in implementing the Chemical Weapons Convention, the Organisation’s efforts to counter the threat of use of chemical weapons, and strengthening international cooperation while promoting the peaceful use of chemistry. Director-General Arias also provided an update on the project to build a new OPCW Centre for Chemistry and Technology outside The Hague in the Netherlands.
The Deputy Minister stated: “The OPCW has proven to be an efficient instrument in the verification of stringent procedures relating to security and safety issues concerning chemical weapons and remaining chemicals. The Government of Iraq supports any international efforts aimed at preventing the use of such weapons by anyone.
Despite the enormous challenges faced, Iraq managed to implement its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention ahead of time. Iraq announced the destruction of remnants of the former chemical programme and was issued a certificate by the OPCW Director-General to that effect in March 2018.
Iraq is always ready to cooperate with all States Parties to the Convention to meet the goal of achieving a world free of chemical weapons.”
The Director-General underlined: “I welcome the opportunity to discuss areas of collaboration with the Iraqi Government to eliminate the use, threat, and re-emergence of chemical weapons. Joint action by all States Parties is crucial to achieve OPCW’s mandate to safeguard and advance the global norm against chemical weapons.”
Iraq has been an active member of the OPCW since January 2009.
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.