France strengthens commitment to global chemical weapons ban with over €900,000 contributions to OPCW activities

Funds to support regional preparedness, civil society engagement, and bolster fact-finding efforts to uphold international norms against chemical weapons

4 July 2024
France strengthens commitment to global chemical weapons ban with over €900,000 contributions to OPCW activities

H.E. Mr François Alabrune, Permanent Representative of the Republic of France to the OPCW, and Ambassador Fernando Arias, OPCW Director-General

THE HAGUE, Netherlands—4 July 2024— The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) welcomes France’s voluntary contributions totalling €902,500 towards fact-finding efforts in Syria, enhancing global chemical safety and fostering civil society engagement in disarmament efforts.  

The contribution was formalised on 1 July 2024 in a signing ceremony held between the Ambassador, Permanent Representative of the Republic of France to the OPCW, H.E. Mr François Alabrune, and the OPCW Director-General, Ambassador Fernando Arias, at the OPCW’s Headquarters in The Hague.  

France has designated €800,000 to be used for the work of the OPCW in Syria including the Declaration Assessment Team (DAT), the Fact-Finding Mission (FFM), and the Investigation and Identification Team (IIT). 

An amount of €70,000 will support CHEMEX Africa 2025, an initiative aimed at strengthening chemical incident response capabilities across the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), and the Southern African Development Community (SADC). This project will include comprehensive training sessions and practical exercises to enhance regional cooperation and preparedness against chemical threats. 

An amount of €30,000 will be used to support the Integrated Advanced Course and Exercise for French Speaking Member States in Africa. This training will deepen the chemical emergency response capabilities of Francophone OPCW Member States, enabling experts to handle complex scenarios effectively. 

Furthermore, €2,500 will be allocated to support dialogue and engagement with civil society organisations, promoting awareness and supporting the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) at national and regional levels. These efforts include facilitating civil society participation in OPCW events and capacity-building workshops, particularly for representatives from developing countries. 

“I am particularly honoured to announce this new French voluntary contribution to support the OPCW’s crucial mandate and work. France commands the important and impartial work conducted by the OPCW towards the full elimination of the Syrian chemical weapons programme and in investigating the use of chemical weapons in Syria,” said Ambassador Alabrune.  

“While the re-emergence of the use of chemical weapons remains a serious concern, France is fully mobilised to provide the Organization with the means to pursue its missions. We are also pleased to support the OPCW capacity-building efforts to strengthen the preparedness and response capabilities of African States Parties in the event of a chemical incident or attack, as part of our continued commitment, alongside African countries, in the fight for international security and against terrorism. This contribution will also support further engagement with civil society to increase awareness of and support the full implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention, including at national and regional level,” he added.  

The Director-General Arias stated: “France’s important contributions to the OPCW’s activities in Syria demonstrates its steadfast commitment to the international norm against the taboo of chemical weapons. Furthermore, through its support to trainings, capacity building programmes, and civil society engagement, France is strengthening regional preparedness against chemical threats and advancing our collective goal of a world free from chemical weapons. Such partnerships are essential in ensuring that we can effectively respond to emerging challenges and uphold the global norm against chemical weapons.” 


France has been an active member of the OPCW since the Chemical Weapons Convention entered into force in 1997. France is a member of the OPCW Executive Council, the governing body of the Organisation.  

To date, France has made voluntary contributions totalling €10,816,907 to nine OPCW trust funds, including the Trust Fund for Implementation of Article X, the Trust Fund for a Centre for Chemistry and Technology, and the Trust Fund for Syria Missions.  

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. 

In 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. 

More Information

La France consolide son engagement en faveur de l’interdiction mondiale des armes chimiques en contribuant aux activités de l’OIAC à hauteur de plus de 900 000 euros.pdf

Photos of the event