THE HAGUE, Netherlands — 21 November 2022 — The Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Ambassador Fernando Arias, visited Brussels, Belgium last week to brief Permanent Representations to the OPCW based outside of The Hague.
The main objective of the briefing was to provide delegations located in Brussels and elsewhere with an overview of the work and current priorities of the OPCW, especially in relation to the upcoming Twenty-Seventh Session of the Conference of the States Parties (CSP-27), which will be held from 28 November to 2 December 2022 in The Hague, the Netherlands.
“In the context of the current challenging disarmament and non-proliferation environment, the ongoing support and commitment of all States Parties will be vital for upholding the global norm against the use of chemical weapons,” said the Director-General.
“2023 will be an important year for the OPCW and the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC),” he added, highlighting several important milestones, including:
- the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the CWC;
- inauguration of the OPCW Centre for Chemistry and Technology (the Chem Tech Centre)
- the Fifth Review Conference; and
- complete elimination of all declared stockpiles of chemical weapons.
The briefing was attended by 44 participants, including 11 Permanent Representatives from 24 States Parties and an observer from the Republic of South Sudan, a state not party to the CWC.
The Director-General welcomed the attendance of the Republic of South Sudan, highlighting that achieving universality is essential to the OPCW’s work and that the Secretariat is ready to support the country’s preparation for the accession to the Convention. South Sudan is one of only four countries who have yet to accede to the CWC, the others being the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Egypt, and Israel which has signed but not yet ratified the Convention.
The Chairperson of the Executive Council, H.E. Ambassador Ziad M.D. Al Atiyah, also delivered updates on the activities of the OPCW’s Executive Council.
In addition, OPCW staff briefed the participants on a wide range of topics, including the OPCW International Cooperation and Assistance Programme, the OPCW Africa Programme and the construction progress and future programme of the Chem Tech Centre.
OPCW Deputy Director-General, Ambassador Odette Melono, closed the briefing, highlighting the importance of the Chem Tech Centre, which will strengthen the OPCW’s capabilities to keep pace with rapid development of scientific and technology for the better implementation of the Convention.
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.
- OPCW Centre for Chemistry and Technology
- OPCW International Cooperation and Assistance Programme
- OPCW Capacity Building Africa Programme
- Chemical Weapons Convention
- Achieving Universality: Ensuring a truly global treaty