THE HAGUE, Netherlands–20 December 2021–A group of ten individuals has completed the rigorous 12-week Initial Inspector Training Programme to begin their work as inspectors of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). The new inspectors were presented with diplomas by the Director-General of the OPCW, Mr Fernando Arias on 17 December during a graduation ceremony held online.
The Director-General stated: “The Convention’s unique verification regime is a cornerstone to achieve its ultimate goal to eliminate the threat of chemical weapons and guarantee that chemicals are being produced and used for solely peaceful purposes. Now, each of you will constitute the backbone of this regime as an inspector of the OPCW. Our ability to attract, maintain, and develop a team of high calibre experts in the Secretariat is central to our capacity to adapt to the new challenges. Your knowledge, skills and experience constitute the foundation, to be developed, consolidated, and transferred to the next generation. This allows the Organisation to retain the highest standard of expertise and skills to ensure that the Organisation is fit for purpose for the future and is able to face new threats posed by the evolving security landscape.”
The Director-General also expressed his appreciation to the governments of Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Serbia, and the United States of America, for providing substantial support for the Initial Inspector Training programme.
The new group of inspectors features both geographic and gender diversity. The OPCW is recruiting the best experts in every field to meet future challenges while pursuing its vision of a world free of chemical weapons.
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.