THE HAGUE, Netherlands—22 November 2023— The Government of New Zealand has contributed more than €72,000 to the Trust Fund for Regional Seminars of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
This contribution will be used to fund a workshop to support the implementation of the Convention in the Pacific region. In particular, it will address region-specific issues related to establishing comprehensive legislation to advance the Convention’s implementation.
The voluntary contribution was formalised on 10 November 2023 in a signing ceremony held between the Ambassador, Permanent Representative of New Zealand to the OPCW, H.E. Ms Susannah Gordon, and the OPCW Director-General, Ambassador Fernando Arias, at the Organisation’s Headquarters in The Hague.
“As a nation in and of the Pacific, New Zealand is pleased to make this contribution today, which will support our region in developing robust implementing CWC legislation. We welcome the opportunity for further engagement between the OPCW and our region and trust the kōrero (discussions) will help to strengthen networks and information-sharing across the Pacific,” outlined Ambassador Gordon.
The Director-General stated: “I express my sincere appreciation to the Government of New Zealand for its strong support to the OPCW’s mission to achieve a world free of chemical weapons. The contribution will help the Organisation support Member States in the Pacific sub-region in implementing the Convention.”
New Zealand has been an active member of the OPCW since the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) entered into force in 1997.
To date, New Zealand has made voluntary contributions totalling EUR 1,168,828 to 11 OPCW trust funds.
All States Parties to the CWC must establish and reinforce administrative, legislative, and judicial measures so that key provisions of the Convention are in force within their jurisdictions. This includes the requirement for systematic industry monitoring and controls on transfers of chemicals, as well as regulatory measures to identify and track toxic chemicals.
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 verified 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.