OPCW Director-General meets with Cameroon’s Minister of External Relations

Bilateral discussions focus on efforts to uphold the global norm against chemical weapons and build protective capacity in Member States

12 May 2022
OPCW Director-General meets with Cameroon’s Minister of External Relations

THE HAGUE, Netherlands—12 May 2022—The Minister of External Relations of the Republic of Cameroon, H.E. Mr Lejeune Mbella Mbella, met on Wednesday with the Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Ambassador Fernando Arias, at the OPCW Headquarters in The Hague.

The officials discussed upholding the international consensus against chemical weapons and initiatives to strengthen the capacity for providing assistance and protection should the worst occur.

The Director-General also briefed the Minister on the future OPCW Centre for Chemistry and Technology (ChemTech Centre), which will strengthen the OPCW’s capabilities to address new and emerging chemical weapons threats and serve as a global knowledge hub for expertise in chemical weapons disarmament and non-proliferation. The ChemTech Centre is under construction outside The Hague, Netherlands, and is expected to be operational in 2023.

The Minister stated: “I welcome the construction of the ChemTech Centre, which is a great innovation of the OPCW, and which will allow the Organisation to be better equipped to face new threats and respond to requests for reinforcement capacities. In this respect, I suggest that we should think beyond Headquarters to extensions of this Centre in Africa.”

The Director-General remarked: “I appreciate Cameroon’s steadfast commitment to upholding the Chemical Weapons Convention. Through the ChemTech Centre, all OPCW Member States will benefit from advancements in science and technology, which are essential as we work together to rid the world of chemical weapons.”

OPCW Director-General meets with Cameroon’s Minister of External Relations


The Republic of Cameroon has been an active member of the OPCW since 1997.

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.

OPCW Director-General meets with Cameroon’s Minister of External Relations

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 operational in 2023.

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.

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