THE HAGUE, Netherlands—12 April 2022—Yesterday, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, H.E. Dr Rogelio Mayta Mayta visited the Headquarters of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague.
The Foreign Minister met with the Director General of the OPCW, Ambassador Fernando Arias, and other senior officials of its Technical Secretariat.
The Foreign Minister stated: “I must emphasize that the Government of Bolivia values and highlights the work carried out by the OPCW through the control and verification of the destruction of chemical weapons and the monitoring of compliance with the prohibition of their use, which has serious consequences for humanity. The work carried out by the OPCW is important to strengthen multilateralism, as well as peace and international security.”
Progress and challenges related to the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) were discussed during the meeting. The Director-General also briefed the Foreign Minister on the role of the future OPCW ChemTech Centre in addressing future challenges.
The Director-General underlined: “I appreciate Bolivia’s engagement and commitment to upholding the global norm against chemical weapons. Through the ChemTech Centre, all OPCW Member States will benefit from advancements in science and technology, while supporting the Organisation’s essential verification activities.”
The Plurinational State of Bolivia joined the Chemical Weapons Convention in 1998.
The project to build the ChemTech Centre seeks to strengthen the OPCW’s capabilities to fully address new and emerging chemical weapons threats, as well as to support capacity building in OPCW Member States. The current OPCW Laboratory and Equipment Store are central to the effectiveness and integrity of the verification regime of the Chemical Weapons Convention, and they also contribute to the OPCW’s capacity building and international cooperation activities. However, the current facility will soon no longer be fit-for-purpose due to its ageing infrastructure, space constraints, larger workloads, and new missions with new areas of work.
A new facility is required to meet the demands of OPCW Member States for enhanced verification tools, improved detection capabilities and response measures, as well as increased capacity building activities. The ChemTech Centre will also help the OPCW to keep pace with developments in science and technology and new chemical weapons threats. Construction of the ChemTech Centre started in June 2021 and is planned to be finished 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.