Ambassador Fernando Arias of Spain Appointed Next OPCW Director-General

Thursday, 30 November 2017

H.E. Ambassador Fernando Arias of Spain, the next Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)

THE HAGUE, Netherlands – 30 November 2017 - The Twenty-Second Session of the Conference of the States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) today appointed H.E. Ambassador Fernando Arias of Spain as the next Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). 

OPCW Director-General, Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, extended his congratulations to Ambassador Arias: “I wish you every success in your stewardship of this Organisation as it increasingly focuses on preventing the re-emergence of chemical weapons.”

In his speech following the appointment, Ambassador Arias expressed, “I am fully committed to the success of this Organisation in overcoming the challenges ahead. With this conviction, I intend to have an active and, at the same time, discrete role in tackling any situation”. 

Ambassador Arias will assume office on 25 July 2018 for a tenure of four years. He is succeeding Ambassador Üzümcü who will step down after serving at the helm of the OPCW for eight years, the maximum allowed under the Convention.

The appointment of Ambassador Arias follows a consensus recommendation by the OPCW Executive Council in October 2017.

Ambassador Arias is a career diplomat with extensive experience in multilateral diplomacy. Currently, he serves as Ambassador of Spain to the Netherlands and the Permanent Representative of Spain to the OPCW. Previously, he has served as Permanent Representative of Spain to the United Nations in New York and Ambassador of Spain to Mali, Mauritania, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and Bulgaria. 

Background

The Conference of the States Parties is the principal organ of the OPCW and consists of representatives from each of the Organisation’s Member States. It meets annually to assess the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention and to make key decisions regarding the future work of the Organisation. 

The Conference of the States Parties oversees the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention, promotes the treaty’s objectives and reviews compliance with the treaty. The Conference is composed of representatives of all Member States of the OPCW, each of which has one vote. The CSP meets annually for one week in The Hague.

As the implementing body for the Chemical Weapons Convention, the OPCW oversees the global endeavour to permanently and verifiably eliminate chemical weapons. Since the Convention’s entry into force in 1997 – and with its 192 States Parties – it is the most successful disarmament treaty eliminating an entire class of weapons of mass destruction. 

Over ninety-six per cent of all chemical weapon stockpiles declared by possessor States have been destroyed under OPCW verification. For its extensive efforts in eliminating chemical weapons, the OPCW received the 2013 Nobel Prize for Peace.


Categories: Conference of the States Parties, Director-General

For further information, please contact OPCW Public Affairs. +31 (0) 70 416 3242, public.affairs@opcw.org | ORGANISATION FOR THE PROHIBITION OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS, Johan de Wittlaan 32, 2517 JR The Hague, The Netherlands

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