THE HAGUE, Netherlands—9 June 2022—The Government of Australia has provided an additional financial contribution of AUD 350,000 to support the work of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). The voluntary contributions were announced yesterday during a ceremony attended by H.E. Ambassador Mr Matthew Neuhaus, Permanent Representative of Australia to the OPCW, and Ambassador Fernando Arias, OPCW Director-General.
Ambassador Neuhaus stated: “Australia is committed to upholding the global prohibition against any use of chemical weapons and stands ready to assist the OPCW in its work to prevent chemical weapons use.”
From the contribution, AUD 200,000 is provided to the OPCW Trust Fund for the Implementation of Article X (assistance and protection against chemical weapons). The contribution is earmarked to support OPCW activities related to assistance and protection in Ukraine.
An allocation of AUD 150,000 is provided to the Trust Fund for the OPCW Centre for Chemistry and Technology. The ChemTech Centre is currently being built outside The Hague and will enhance the capabilities and standing of the OPCW as the global leader in the effort to rid the world of chemical weapons.
Ambassador Arias remarked: “Australia’s contribution signals a commitment to the OPCW’s essential work in upholding the global norm against chemical weapons and ensuring readiness to respond should the worst occur.”
Australia has been an active member of the OPCW since the Chemical Weapons Convention entered into force in 1997.
The Trust Fund for the Implementation of Article X was established in 2002 by the OPCW Technical Secretariat to meet costs associated with the implementation of requirements under Article X in relation to the provision of assistance and protection, on request, to any Member State in the event of the use or threat of use of chemical weapons. It is funded by donations from Member States.
The project to build the ChemTech Centre seeks to strengthen the OPCW’s capabilities to fully address new and emerging chemical weapons threats. The new facility will be used 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. 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.