THE HAGUE, Netherlands–20 December 2021–The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) collaborated with the Spanish National Institute of Aerospace Technology (INTA) to organise a series of seminars aimed at enhancing the analytical capacities of laboratories from OPCW Member States in Latin America and the Caribbean. The seminars took place online from 13-17 December.
This training programme is part of an on-going project – started in 2019 – that identified candidate laboratories aspiring to achieve OPCW Designated Laboratory status and supports them in that pursuit. Funded by a voluntary contribution from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the training included e-learning, online coaching, and operational support for laboratories to participate in the Chemical Weapons Convention Chemical Analysis Competency Test (CCACT). The programme focussed on the in-depth strategies and procedures required to pass the OPCW Proficiency Test, which is the primary requirement for laboratories to obtain and maintain OPCW Designated Laboratory status.
Fourteen participants from four laboratories in Brazil and Chile joined the seminar.
OPCW Designated Laboratories are a linchpin of the Organisation’s verification regime and its capacity to investigate allegations of the use of chemical weapons.
OPCW Designated Laboratories must be able to perform off-site analysis of chemical samples collected by OPCW inspectors from chemical production facilities, storage depots and other installations, or from the site of an alleged use 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.