THE HAGUE, Netherlands—15 March 2023— The Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Ambassador Fernando Arias, met with Hungary’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, H.E. Mr Péter Szijjártó, at the OPCW’s Headquarters in The Hague.
The Director-General and the Minister discussed contemporary international security issues and their impact on the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). Ambassador Arias addressed scientific and technological developments related to achieving a total, permanent elimination of all chemical weapons and preventing their re-emergence, and updated on the progress of the OPCW Centre for Chemistry and Technology (ChemTech Centre).
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 to ensure that chemistry is used exclusively for peaceful purpose. Following the recent acceptance of the building, the relocation of the current OPCW Laboratory and Equipment Store in Rijswijk has been taking place in several stages.
“The ChemTech Centre will allow the OPCW to keep pace with rapid developments in science and technology as well as train experts from its Member States through the Organisation’s capacity-building activities,” the Director-General emphasised.
Ambassador Arias further outlined preparation work for the upcoming Fifth Review Conference in terms of establishing the strategic priorities of the Organisation for the next five years. The two high-level officials concluded the visit with a discussion on the OPCW’s work related to the Syrian Chemical Weapons dossier, including the third report of the Investigation and Identification Team (IIT) issued in January 2023.
“For more than a year, the war between Russia and Ukraine has been putting our global security at risk. As a neighbouring country, Hungary is fully aware of all the dangers and losses that a war entails. Hungary is interested in peace as soon as possible, because peace is the only solution,” said Minister Szijjártó.
“That is why Hungary is committed to the full implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention and is a strong supporter of the OPCW. Safeguarding the global non-use norm and countering of the re-emergence of chemical weapons are of paramount importance. The international community, relying on the eminent role of the OPCW, has a vital responsibility in maintaining global peace and security,” he highlighted.
Hungary has been an active member of the OPCW since the Chemical Weapons Convention entered into force in 1997.
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.
- Hungary | OPCW
- Centre for Chemistry and Technology Project | OPCW
- RC-5 – Fifth Review Conference | OPCW
- Third Report of the IIT | OPCW
- Photos of the event