THE HAGUE, Netherlands—12 December 2022—The Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Ambassador Fernando Arias, met with the State Secretary for European Affairs, International Law and the Protection of Interests of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia, Mr Marko Štucin, on 6 December. The meeting took place at OPCW Headquarters in The Hague, the Netherlands.
During the bilateral talks, the OPCW Director-General informed the State Secretary of the outcomes of the 27th Conference of the States Parties (held 28 November to 2 December) and provided an update on the status of preparations and policy developments for the upcoming 5th Review Conference which will be held in May 2023. The Director-General briefed the State Secretary on the progress in the construction of the OPCW Centre for Chemistry and Technology (ChemTech Centre), which is nearing completion. He also provided an overview of the planned activities and programme that will be conducted in the Centre, once it becomes fully operational in early 2023.
State Secretary Mr Marko Štucin stated: “Slovenia appreciates the dedicated work of the OPCW. Accountability for international crimes being among Slovenia’s foreign policy priorities, Slovenia commends OPCW’s highly professional investigations of chemical weapons use in Syria.” He further stated that “Slovenia welcomes the almost completed construction of the OPCW Centre for Chemistry and Technology, and its future role as a repository of knowledge on the control of dangerous chemicals and on the prevention of their weaponization.” He stressed that “Slovenia is ready to do its part in protecting international law, firstly, by offering unwavering support to the OPCW in its role as protector of the Chemical Weapons Convention, and secondly, by building trust as a candidate for a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council”.
The OPCW Director-General stated: “I express my gratitude to the Government of the Republic of Slovenia for its strong commitment to the Chemical Weapons Convention and the OPCW. The contributions of Member States such as Slovenia to our mission of eradicating chemical weapons are essential.”
The Republic of Slovenia has been an active member of the OPCW since 1997.
The Republic of Slovenia has voluntarily contributed €10,000 to the Trust Fund for an OPCW Centre for Chemistry and Technology. 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.