OPCW Honours All Victims of Chemical Warfare during Remembrance Day

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Ceremony in Commemoration of the Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare

THE HAGUE, Netherlands – 30 November 2017 – The annual Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare was observed at a ceremony today in the Ieper Room of OPCW’s Headquarters. The room is named after the site of the first large-scale chemical weapons attack in April 1915 in Ieper, Belgium.

The Chairperson of the Conference of States Parties, Ambassador Abdelouahab Bellouki of Morocco opened the commemorative session. Statements were also delivered by the OPCW Director-General, Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü; Deputy Secretary-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, H.E. Mr Willem Van Ee; and Deputy Mayor of The Hague, Mrs Saskia Bruines. 

In his remarks to the ceremony the Director-General said: “Honouring the victims and their families requires an unequivocal condemnation of any use of chemical weapons, perpetrators being held to account and justice to take its course. This is also important to deter those who may show disdain for fundamental ethical and moral values.” 

He also stated, “The suffering of the victims underscores the importance of keeping the international norm against the use of chemical weapons strong and abiding. It is incumbent upon us to redouble our efforts to realise the vision of the Convention and to show zero tolerance for any use of chemical weapons anywhere”.  

To pay homage to victims of chemical warfare at the Memorial Site, the dignitaries laid wreaths and observed a minute of silence.

Background

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: 29 April: Remembrance Day, 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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