THE HAGUE, Netherlands—12 December 2022—The Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Ambassador Fernando Arias received the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Principality of Liechtenstein, H.E. Ms Dominique Hasler at OPCW Headquarters in The Hague, the Netherlands. The meeting took place on 6 December.
The Director-General and the Minister discussed contemporary challenges in international security and their impact on the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). The Director-General addressed the scientific and technological challenges that the CWC faces and briefed the Minister on the project to construct an OPCW Centre for Chemistry and Technology (ChemTech Centre). He explained that the Centre will allow the OPCW to keep pace with developments in science and technology as well as train experts from its Member States through the Organisation’s capacity-building activities.
The two high-ranking officials exchanged views on recent policy developments related to the CWC following the recent 27th Conference of the States Parties (held 28 November to 2 December) and ahead of the OPCW’s 5th Review Conference which will take place in May 2023.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs remarked: “Liechtenstein is strongly committed to the Chemical Weapons Convention and to the OPCW. We appreciate the OPCW’s important role in upholding the norms of the Chemical Weapons Convention and thus supporting the functioning of the rules-based international order.”
The Director-General welcomed the support of Liechtenstein, stating: “I appreciate the strong support provided by Liechtenstein and the close cooperation with it towards strengthening the norm against chemical weapons.”
Liechtenstein has been an active member of the OPCW since 1999.
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 construction of the ChemTech Centre started in June 2021 and is planned to be finished by the end of 2022.
The Fifth Review Conference of the States Parties will be held from 15 to 19 May 2023. Review Conferences occurs once every five years. It is an opportunity for all States Parties to review the operations of the Chemical Weapons Convention and set a strategic direction for the OPCW for the next five years and beyond. States Parties are anticipated to offer recommendations for enhancing the OPCW’s work in the areas of verification, assistance and protection, international cooperation, capacity development, and outreach.
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.