THE HAGUE, Netherlands—16 May 2023—The Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Ambassador Fernando Arias, met with the Federal Government Commissioner for Disarmament and Arms Control and Director-General for International order, the United Nations and Arms Control at Germany’s Federal Foreign Office, Ambassador Günter Sautter, on the sidelines of the Fifth Review Conference (RC-5).
The OPCW Director-General and Ambassador Sautter discussed contemporary international security issues and their impact on the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention. Ambassador Arias addressed scientific and technological developments related to achieving a total, permanent elimination of all chemical weapons and preventing their re-emergence. He also highlighted the essential role of the OPCW Centre for Chemistry and Technology (ChemTech Centre), inaugurated on 12 May in the presence of His Majesty King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, in achieving this goal.
“The ChemTech Centre is a major investment that will help Member States uphold the norm against chemical weapons. It is a hub for knowledge sharing and support to the global efforts to ensure chemistry is used only for peaceful and authorised purposes,” the OPCW Director-General said.
The two high-level officials concluded the visit by highlighting the importance of the Fifth Review Conference for the implementation of the Convention.
“The Review Conference needs to provide guidance as to the OPCW’s future role and to take stock of the past five years. Germany is committed to making this happen. With regard to future challenges, the OPCW must have all necessary capabilities to uphold the non-use norm and fight the re-emergence of chemical weapons. In this context, the new ChemTech Centre is an important asset which will help the OPCW to be fit for the future,” said Ambassador Sautter.
“RC-5 is an opportunity to reinforce the global norm against chemical weapons, review the operation of the Convention and provide strategic guidance for the Organisation for the upcoming years,” the OPCW Director-General stated.
The Federal Republic of Germany is currently represented in the OPCW Executive Council, the Advisory Body on Administrative and Financial Matters, the Confidentiality Commission, the Scientific Advisory Board, and the Advisory Board on Education and Outreach.
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.