THE HAGUE, Netherlands—21 February 2022— The Government of the Republic of Panama has contributed €5,000 to a special Trust Fund of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to support the construction and operation of a new facility, the OPCW Centre for Chemistry and Technology, currently being built outside The Hague.
The contribution was formalised on 21 February 2022 through an exchange of letters.
The Permanent Representative of the Republic of Panama to the OPCW, H.E. Ambassador Elizabeth Ward Neiman, expressed: “Panama maintains its longstanding support to the OPCW and proudly contributes to strengthening its capacity in confronting the ongoing threat of chemical weapons. The ChemTech Centre, including its revolutionary lab and capacity for training programmes, will maintain the relevance of OPCW in the future.”
The Director-General of the OPCW, Ambassador Fernando Arias, noted: “I am grateful for Panama’s contribution to the ChemTech Centre project. The facility will be a centrepiece for research, analysis, and training for the benefit of all OPCW Member States. It will help equip the Organisation to address current and future challenges to the Chemical Weapons Convention.”
Director-General Arias additionally expressed his gratitude to the OPCW States Parties and other contributors to the project and encouraged continued participation in this important initiative. He emphasised the role the new ChemTech Centre will play in strengthening the OPCW’s ability to address chemical weapon threats and enhance capacity building activities for the benefit of all 193 OPCW Member States.
The ChemTech Centre Trust Fund remains open for further contributions. Additional funds will provide extra assurance for the successful completion of the project and for projects to be carried out at the Centre once the building is operational.
Construction of the Centre is on-track for completion by the end of 2022.
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 99% 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.