THE HAGUE, Netherlands—19 May 2023—The Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Ambassador Fernando Arias, met with the Director of the Arms Control Department of China’s Foreign Affairs Ministry, H.E. Mr Sun Xiaobo, on the sidelines of the Fifth Review Conference (RC-5) taking place from 15 to 19 May in The Hague.
The bilateral meeting highlighted progress made in relation to the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention. The two high-level officials discussed contemporary chemical safety and security issues and their impact on the global disarmament and non-proliferation.
The Director-General briefed Mr Sun on the challenges the Technical Secretariat faces in relation to the implementation of industry inspections in the context of the fast-growing chemical industry and stated: “We need to find a way to optimise the industry inspections taking into account relevant scientific and technological developments to strengthen the effectiveness of the verification regime.”
Mr Sun said: “China is committed to promoting the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention to make a greater contribution to global peace and development.”
“Destroying the chemical weapons abandoned by Japan on China’s territory is an essential aspect of the Convention’s implementation and indispensable for achieving a world free from chemical weapons,” he added.
“I commend both China’s and Japan’s efforts and cooperation related to the destruction of the abandoned chemical weapons by Japan on China’s territory,” the Director-General emphasised.
The Director-General concluded the visit by highlighting the importance of the OPCW Centre for Chemistry and Technology, which was inaugurated on 12 May in the presence of His Majesty Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands.
The People’s Republic of China has been an active member of the OPCW since the Chemical Weapons Convention entered into force in 1997. China is a member of the Executive Council, the OPCW’s executive organ, which is responsible for promoting the effective implementation of and compliance with the Chemical Weapons Convention as well as supervising the activities of the Organisation’s Technical Secretariat.
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.