THE HAGUE, Netherlands—25 November 2022— Emergency preparedness for chemical incidents and engaging with civil society related to chemical safety and security are key to the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). The Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Ambassador Fernando Arias, and the Mayor of the Municipality of The Hague, Mr Jan van Zanen, announced the decision of the OPCW-The Hague Award Committee to honour the following three organisations working in these fields as joint recipients of the OPCW-The Hague Award 2022:
Special Risks Brigade of the Federal Police of Argentina;
Chemical Weapons Convention Coalition, representing more than 150 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) from around the globe;
Population Protection Institute, Fire Rescue Service of the Czech Republic.
“The successful implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention requires the active support and contributions of all stakeholders, including national authorities, academia, first responders, and civil society,” said OPCW Director-General, Ambassador Fernando Arias.
In 2013, the OPCW was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of its extensive efforts to eliminate chemical weapons. To preserve the legacy of this achievement, the OPCW established the OPCW-The Hague Award in collaboration with the Municipality of The Hague in 2014. The Award recognises individuals and organisations that play a significant role in advancing the goals of the Chemical Weapons Convention. The total €90,000 cash prize is awarded to up to three recipients.
The OPCW-The Hague Award ceremony will take place on Monday, 28 November, 12:15-13:00 CET, on the sidelines of the Twenty-Seventh Session of the Conference of the States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CSP-27). Both the Conference and the award ceremony are livestreamed here.
This year, marking the 25th Anniversary of the entry into force of the Chemical Weapons Convention, a record number of nominations were received from a wide range of geographical regions and professional areas.
“For the first time, the recipients of the Award include organisations from the regions of Latin America and Eastern Europe,” said the OPCW Director-General. “This also shows that ensuring chemical safety and security is a common goal and global efforts to achieve it are being made everywhere in the world.”
“The announcement of the 2022 OPCW-The Hague Award recipients is taking place in the 25th anniversary year of the Chemical Weapons Convention’s entry into force,” said Mr Jan van Zanen, the Mayor of the Municipality of The Hague.
“The OPCW’s mission to rid the world of chemical weapons is as relevant now as it was then. The Hague congratulates this year’s winners for their dedication to making our world a safer place. Future generations will be grateful,” he added.
“The OPCW-The Hague Awards reflects the importance that the OPCW attaches to the role of various stakeholders in achieving the objectives of the Convention,” said Ambassador Ziad M.D. Al Atiyah, Chairperson of the OPCW Executive Council and Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the OPCW. “It recognises the efforts of organisations and individuals who contribute to the peaceful uses of chemistry.”
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Special Risks Brigade of the Federal Police of Argentina (BRE)
BRE, belonging to the Federal Superintendence of Firefighters of the Argentine Federal Police, has the general mission to intervene in the integral proactive management of any situation derived from agents of mass destruction of chemical, biological, radioactive or nuclear origin, whether they are dispersed accidentally or maliciously by non-state actors. BRE is also responsible for the assessment, detention and response in such cases, as well as for providing assistance to the judiciary. The Brigade has cooperated closely with the OPCW to deliver numerous training programmes that have benefited over 800 regional experts.
Chemical Weapons Convention Coalition (CWCC)
CWCC is an independent, international civil society network with more than 200 members from diverse organisations around the world to support the aims of the CWC and to supplement the efforts of OPCW Member States. This is done through focused civil society action aimed at achieving full membership of the CWC, the safe and timely elimination of all chemical weapons, preventing the misuse of chemicals for hostile purposes, and promoting their peaceful use.
The Coalition was founded in 2009 when several non-governmental organisations (NGOs) established an informal global network to help encourage and promote participation of civil society, industry, academia and NGOs at the annual Conference of States Parties to the CWC. Outside of the Conference, the Coalition holds webinars on relevant CW topics, facilitates networking opportunities for those in the chemical weapons community, promotes relevant chemical weapons publications by Coalition members and aims to serve as a resource for NGOs interested in furthering the goal of universalizing the CWC.
Population Protection Institute (PPI), Fire Rescue Service of the Czech Republic
PPI has extensive expertise in providing trainings in the field of preparedness in the case of chemical incidents and emergencies around the globe. To date, the Institute has trained more than 600 experts on a wide range of topics, including emergency preparedness and response for first responders, operational trainings for first responders, instructors and incident commanders, assistance and protection courses for instructors, and online basic training on wireless information system for emergency responders, and emergency response guidebook for first responders.
The OPCW and the CWC
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-The Hague Award | OPCW
- Chemical Weapons Convention | OPCW
- Ensuring Preparedness | OPCW
- Supporting Victims of Chemical Weapons | OPCW
- CSP | OPCW