THE HAGUE, Netherlands— 22 February 2023— The Government of Italy has contributed €50,000 to a special Trust Fund of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to support the construction and operation of the OPCW Centre for Chemistry and Technology (ChemTech Centre).
The contribution was formalised in December 2022 in a signing ceremony held between the Ambassador, the Permanent Representative of the Italian Republic to the OPCW, H.E. Mr Giorgio Novello, and the OPCW Director-General, Ambassador Fernando Arias, at the OPCW’s Headquarters in The Hague.
“2023 will be a milestone year for the OPCW, marking important events, such as the complete destruction of the chemical weapons stockpiles, the Fifth Review Conference, and the opening of the ChemTech Centre. Italy continues to support the OPCW with conviction, both as an important EU partner and in its national capacity. It is an honour for me to renew the Italian contribution to the ChemTech Centre project as my predecessor did in 2019,” said Ambassador Novello.
“Italy reaffirms its full support of the Technical Secretariat and its commitment to uphold the norm against the use of chemical weapons by anyone, anywhere and under any circumstances,” he added.
The OPCW Director-General thanked Italy for its contribution, remarking that: “Italy is an ardent supporter of the object and purpose of the Chemical Weapons Convention. This contribution will support to conduct new programmes and activities at the ChemTech Centre and to strengthen the OPCW’s capabilities to address chemical weapon threats and achieve the goals of the Convention.”
Italy has been an active member of the OPCW since 1997 and is currently represented in the Executive Council. In Subsidiary Organs, Italy is represented on the Scientific Advisory Board. In 2019, Italy contributed €150,000 to the Trust Fund for the Centre for Chemistry and Technology.
The ChemTech Centre will strengthen OPCW’s capabilities to fully address new and emerging chemical weapons threats, as well as to support capacity building in OPCW Member States. The Centre will meet the demands of OPCW Member States for enhanced verification tools, improved detection capabilities and response measures, as well as increased capacity building activities. It will also help the OPCW to keep pace with developments in science and technology and new chemical weapons threats. 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.