THE HAGUE, Netherlands—22 February 2023— The Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Ambassador Fernando Arias, met with the United Nations Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Ms Izumi Nakamitsu, at the OPCW’s headquarters in The Hague.
Director-General Arias and Under-Secretary-General Nakamitsu discussed recent developments and challenges in the field of global disarmament and non-proliferation. The Director-General provided an update on OPCW’s work, including the upcoming inauguration of the OPCW Centre for Chemistry and Technology (the ChemTech Centre), and the Fifth Review Conference of the Chemical Weapons Convention. The Director-General also updated Under-Secretary-General Nakamitsu on OPCW’s work on the Syrian Chemical Weapons dossier, including the third report of the Investigation and Identification Team (IIT) issued in January 2023.
The Director-General emphasised that “the OPCW will continue its work in the Syrian Arab Republic and implement its mandates, including identifying perpetrators of the use of chemical weapons, in accordance with the Chemical Weapons Convention, relevant decisions of the Organisation’s policy-making organs and UN Security Council Resolutions.”
“I wish to take this opportunity to reiterate my appreciation to Director-General Arias and the OPCW for its professional and impartial efforts to uphold the norm against the use of chemical weapons and for our partnership in the pursuit of the elimination of these inhumane weapons,” Under-Secretary-General Nakamitsu said.
The OPCW’s cooperation with the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) is premised on the Relationship Agreement between the United Nations and the OPCW, which was approved by the Conference of the States Parties in decision C-VI/DEC.5 of 17 May 2001, and subsequently adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in resolution A/RES/55/283 of 24 September 2001.
UNODA has participated regularly in the Conferences of the States Parties since 2001 and every Special Conference of the States Parties to Review the Operation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (Review Conferences). UNODA also maintains regular contact with the OPCW on its activities related to Security Council resolution 2118 (2013) on the elimination of the chemical weapons programme of the Syrian Arab Republic.
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.
- Chemical Weapons Convention | OPCW
- Centre for Chemistry and Technology Project | OPCW
- RC-5 – Fifth Review Conference | OPCW
- Photos of the event