THE HAGUE, Netherlands—28 April 2022—The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) organised an online Forum aimed at raising awareness and enhancing knowledge and understanding on chemical safety and security management, with particular focus on chemical safety and related best practices. The Forum targets chemists, chemical engineers, and relevant professionals from governments, international organisations, industry, and academia.
Opening the Forum, the OPCW representative highlighted the Forum’s importance for advancing the peaceful uses of chemistry, and contributing to economic and technological development opportunities of States Parties. The representative called for sustained efforts towards developing a culture of chemical responsibility with active initiatives on sharing of lesson learned and best practices.
Speakers from the OPCW Technical Secretariat introduced the Chemical Weapons Convention and its Article XI (Economic and Technological Development), which underpins the OPCW’s international cooperation and capacity building efforts. Participants discussed emerging trends as well as evolving and existing ethical challenges faced by chemistry practitioners. Participants also received a presentation from the United Nations Institute of Training and Research on ongoing efforts towards better chemicals and waste management.
The event also featured a presentation by the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) on an overview of gender balance in the chemical weapons regime as well as information on sex-specific and gendered impacts of chemical weapons.
The training was attended by 39 participants from 16 OPCW Member States: Algeria, Bangladesh, Bolivia, China, Colombia, India, Iran, Kenya, Malaysia, Mauritania, Morocco, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Suriname.
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.