THE HAGUE, Netherlands—23 October 2023— The Government of Ireland has voluntarily contributed €50,000 to the Trust Fund for the Implementation of Article X of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
The voluntary contribution will be used to support ongoing assistance and protection programmes earmarked for activities in Ukraine. The contribution will enable the OPCW to supply Ukrainian first responders with FirstDefender RM Chemical Identification System devices, which allow swift and precise identification of chemicals, explosives, and hazardous materials.
The voluntary contribution was formalised on 17 October 2023 in a signing ceremony held between the Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Ireland to the OPCW, H.E. Mr Brendan Rogers, and the OPCW Director-General, Ambassador Fernando Arias, at the Organisation’s Headquarters in The Hague.
“Ireland is pleased to contribute €50,000 to the Article X trust fund for Ukraine. Ireland remains a strong supporter of the OPCW and welcomes the Technical Secretariat’s continued monitoring of the situation in Ukraine, as well as the assistance and protection trainings the Secretariat have provided to Ukrainian authorities. I am pleased that this contribution will enhance Ukraine’s ability to detect and protect its people from the use of chemical weapons. Ireland continues to support the Government and people of Ukraine at this time of crisis, brought about by the illegal and unjustified invasion by Russia,” said Ambassador Rogers.
The Director-General stated: “I express my sincere appreciation for the financial support of Ireland to the Organisation in its mission to permanently eliminate chemical weapons. Strengthening chemical emergency preparedness in Member States is a key activity of the Organisation and an important factor for advancing international chemical safety and security.”
Ireland has been an active member of the OPCW since the Chemical Weapons Convention entered into force in 1997. Ireland is a member of the Executive Council, the OPCW’s executive organ, which is charged with promoting the effective implementation of and compliance with the Chemical Weapons Convention as well as supervising the activities of the Organisation’s Technical Secretariat.
Between 2019 and 2023, Ireland has made voluntary contributions totalling €280,000 to the OPCW.
Under Article X of the Chemical Weapons Convention, Member States “have the right to participate in, the fullest possible exchange of equipment, material and scientific and technological information concerning means of protection against chemical weapons.” Ukraine requested aid under Article X in March 2022, requesting assistance, detection, protective, and decontamination equipment; as well as medical devices and medicine for treatment; and finally advice on protective measures.
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.
On 7 July 2023, the OPCW confirmed that all chemical weapons stockpiles declared by the 193 States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention since 1997 — totalling 72,304 metric tonnes of chemical agents — have been irreversibly destroyed under the OPCW’s strict verification regime.
For its extensive efforts in eliminating chemical weapons, the OPCW received the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize.