THE HAGUE, Netherlands—15 February 2023—The Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Ambassador Fernando Arias, met with the Foreign Secretary of Pakistan, H.E. Asad Majeed Khan, at the OPCW’s headquarters in The Hague.
The Director-General briefed H.E. Asad Majeed Khan on the development of the work of the OPCW, including the progress on the new OPCW Chemistry and Technology Centre (ChemTech Centre), the preparation for the upcoming Fifth Review Conference, and the third Investigation and Identification Team (IIT) report released on 27 January this year. The two officials discussed challenges, opportunities, and the way forward in upholding the global norm against chemical weapons in the current international security climate.
“The destruction of all declared chemical weapons stockpiles is not the end of our mission,” the Director-General said. “OPCW’s agenda of preventing the re-emergence of chemical weapons remains open-ended. The OPCW needs to keep pace with the rapid development of science and technology to address current and future challenges.”
“The ChemTech Centre will play an important role in helping the Organisation tackle these challenges,” he added.
H.E. Asad Majeed Khan re-affirmed Pakistan’s full commitment to implementing the Chemical Weapons Convention: “It gives me great pleasure to visit the OPCW headquarters and meet the OPCW Director-General. The Convention is one of the most important success stories in global arms control and disarmament. Pakistan looks forward to continuing constructively contributing to the Organisation.”
Pakistan is represented at the OPCW Executive Council. Furthermore, the country is represented in the following subsidiary bodies: the Scientific Advisory Board by Mr Raza Ellahi; the Advisory Board on Education and Outreach by Mr Shahab Ud Din; and the Advisory Body on Administrative and Financial Matters by Ms Fatima Hamdia Tanweer. Pakistan is a facilitator for full implementation of Article XI of the Convention.
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.