THE HAGUE, Netherlands–8 December 2021–The Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), H.E. Mr Fernando Arias met yesterday with the Vice-Minister of Multilateral Affairs of the Republic of Costa Rica, Mr Christian Guillermet-Fernández, at OPCW Headquarters in The Hague.
The two officials engaged in discussions on the progress of implementing the Chemical Weapons Convention, focusing on the ongoing initiatives to deepen international cooperation and capacity building, as well as counter the use and prevent the re-emergence of chemical weapons. The Director-General also provided a briefing about the construction of the OPCW Centre for Chemistry and Technology, a project to enhance the Organisation’s capability to respond to chemical threats and enhance the capabilities of OPCW Member States to use chemistry for peaceful and authorised purposes.
The Vice-Minister stated: “The promotion of disarmament remains one of the pillars of Costa Rica’s foreign policy and it is an honour to reaffirm our country’s strong support for the work of the OPCW to achieve a world free of chemical weapons. We commend the ongoing ChemTech Centre project, which will help ensure that the international community is prepared to respond appropriately to new and emerging threats. It demonstrates that the Organisation is looking towards the future.”
The Vice-Minister also noted: “We take this opportunity to reiterate our full confidence in the independence, impartiality and professionalism of the Technical Secretariat and its capacity to continue delivering on the Organisation’s programme of work, amidst multiple challenges.”
Director-General Arias stressed: “Today’s meeting confirmed Costa Rica’s steadfast commitment to the full implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention – a keystone element of multilateral disarmament architecture. I look forward to our continued cooperation on activities strengthening the global norm against chemical weapons.”
Costa Rica has been an active member of the OPCW since 1997.
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.