THE HAGUE, Netherlands—28 February 2023—The Government of the Republic of Korea contributed €83,287.67 to two trust funds of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW): a special Trust Fund to support the construction and operation of the new OPCW Centre for Chemistry and Technology (“ChemTech Centre”), and a Trust Fund for Regional Seminars.
Both contributions were formalised on 21 February 2023 in a signing ceremony held between the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea to the OPCW, Ambassador Yeondoo Jeong, and the OPCW Director-General, Ambassador Fernando Arias, at the OPCW’s Headquarters in The Hague. The funds will be utilised to assist the activities of the ChemTech Centre as well as to organise the eleventh edition of the workshop on the peaceful development and use of chemistry for Member States in the Asian Region, which will be held in Seoul later this year.
“We are pleased to see the construction of the new ChemTech Centre was successfully finished, and the inauguration ceremony for the Centre is scheduled in May,” said Ambassador Jeong. “As the first State Party to have made voluntary contributions to the ChemTech Centre Project in 2017, the Republic of Korea believes that the new Centre will significantly enhance the overall capacity of the OPCW and States Parties to prevent re-emergence of chemical weapons and facilitate the use of chemistry in a peaceful and safe manner.”
“The Republic of Korea has been hosting the Seoul Workshop together with the Technical Secretariat to share best practices and knowledge and explore better ways to fully implement the Convention among chemical experts in the Asian region for the last ten years,” he added. “We will continue our utmost efforts to contribute to capacity building of regional experts and improvement of chemical safety and security.”
“I express sincere appreciation to the Government of the Republic of Korea for its voluntary contributions. With continuous advancements in science and technology, the ChemTech Centre will allow the OPCW to enhance the verification regime through maintaining and developing our knowledge, skills and expertise related to the chemical weapons,” said the OPCW Director-General. “The Centre will be a hub for knowledge sharing and will support the global efforts to ensure chemistry is used only for peaceful purposes.”
The Republic of Korea has been an active member of the OPCW since the Chemical Weapons Convention entered into force in 1997. The Republic of Korea is represented at the OPCW Executive Council.
The ChemTech Centre is an important upgrade to the OPCW’s research, analytical and capacity building activities. It will serve as a knowledge repository to address chemical threats worldwide, and as a platform for the broader OPCW community to promote expert dialogue, exchange, and collaboration in advancing the peaceful uses of chemistry. The new facility will also help strengthen Member States’ capabilities related to verification tools, detection and response in the case of a chemical emergency.
Following the recent acceptance of the building, the relocation of the current OPCW Laboratory and Equipment Store in Rijswijk will take place in several stages.
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.