OPCW Marks its 20th Anniversary with Solemn Commemorative Ceremony

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

His Majesty King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands (second from right) at the OPCW's 20th Anniversary Commemorative Ceremony on 26 April 2017 at the Ridderzaal (Hall of the Knights) in The Hague, the Netherlands. Clockwise from bottom left: Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden; OPCW Deputy Director-General Mr Hamid Ali Rao; Chairperson of the Conference of the States Parties, Dr Christoph Israng; Mayor of The Hague, Mrs Pauline Krikke; Kings Commissioner to the Province of South Holland, Mr Jaap Smit; Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, Mr Bert Koenders; and OPCW Director-General Mr Ahmet Üzümcü.

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — 26 April 2017 — In the presence of His Majesty the King of the Netherlands, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) today marked the 20th Anniversary of the entry into force of the Chemical Weapons Convention and the founding of the OPCW during a solemn ceremony held at the Ridderzaal (Hall of the Knights) in The Hague.

“We have come together to rededicate ourselves to peace, security and progress. Those are the abiding objectives of the Chemical Weapons Convention and the essence of all our endeavours at the OPCW,” expressed the OPCW Director-General, Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, in his opening statement.

Ambassador Üzümcü paid homage to the memory of victims of chemical weapons across the world: “Many survivors continue to endure painful suffering despite the years that have elapsed since exposure. Some are present here today. They remind us of the human toll when morality is recklessly abandoned and universal norms callously breached.”

He reminded guests that “the work of the OPCW represents the most effective response to such cruelty; a ray of hope illuminating a dark shadow on our history.”

During the ceremony, the King together with OPCW’s Director-General, unveiled a plaque acknowledging the Organisation’s anniversary. The plaque will on display at OPCW Headquarters next to the plaque dedicated by Her Majesty Queen Beatrix on the occasion of the OPCW’s 10th anniversary.

The Secretary-General of the United Nations, H.E. Mr António Guterres, sent a special video message to the OPCW, while keynote remarks featured Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, a United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Advocate; Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, H.E. Mr Bert Koenders; the Mayor of The Hague, H. E. Mrs Pauline Krikke; and the OPCW’s Chairperson of the Conference of the States Parties, H.E. Dr Christoph Israng.

The Commemorative Ceremony was attended by 450 Permanent Representatives and other delegates from OPCW Member States; chemical weapon victims; leaders of international organisations, chemical industry and civil society; and dignitaries from the Netherlands.

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 the past twenty years, nearly 95 per cent of chemical weapon stockpiles declared by possessor states have been eliminated under the watchful eye of the OPCW. One hundred and ninety-two countries committing themselves to the Chemical Weapons Convention have made it possible for 98 per cent of the global population to live under the Convention’s protection.

This achievement is the result of a global endeavour – involving nations, chemical industry, scientists, and civil society – to create and enforce the world’s most successful international disarmament treaty. For its efforts in eliminating chemical weapons, the OPCW received the 2013 Nobel Prize for Peace.

More Information

Media Inquiries

OPCW Public Affairs
Johan de Wittlaan 32, 2517 JR
The Hague, The Netherlands
+ 31 70 416 32 42
public.affairs@opcw.org
www.opcw.org

Follow OPCW on:

Twitter: www.twitter.com/opcw
Facebook: www.facebook.com/opcwonline
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/opcw
YouTube: www.youtube.com/opcwonline


Categories: 20th Anniversary, Remembrances, commemorations, condolences

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

Follow OPCW on Facebook and Twitter.

More news

OPCW Director-General Visits London

THE HAGUE, Netherlands —25 May 2018 — The Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, met with senior government officials and highlighted the chief challenges in...25 May 2018Full story

International Council of Chemical Associations Endorses Hague Ethical Guidelines

THE HAGUE, Netherlands - 23 May 2018 – The International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA) has endorsed The Hague Ethical Guidelines, a set of principles developed with facilitation by the Organisation for the Prohibition...23 May 2018Full story

State of Palestine Accedes to the Chemical Weapons Convention

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — 23 May 2018 — The State of Palestine deposited on 17 May 2018 its instrument of accession to the Chemical Weapons Convention with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the depositary of the...23 May 2018Full story

OPCW Holds 10th Analytical Chemistry Course under Programme to Strengthen Cooperation with Africa

THE HAGUE, Netherlands – 22 May 2018 – Chemistry professionals from African Member States enhanced their chemical analysis capabilities during an Analytical Chemistry Course (ACC) jointly organised by the OPCW and Protechnik...22 May 2018Full story

OPCW Helps Build Sampling and Analysis Skills of First Responders

THE HAGUE, Netherlands - 18 May 2018 – First responders from 16 countries across the world upgraded their skills in sampling and analysis in a highly contaminated environment, during training in Częstochowa, Poland, held from 7...18 May 2018Full story

OPCW Fact-Finding Mission Confirms Likely Use of Chlorine in Saraqib, Syria

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — 16 May 2018 —The Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), confirmed in a report released yesterday that chlorine was likely used as a chemical weapon...16 May 2018Full story

Experts from Asia Consider New Approaches to Chemical Safety and Security Risk Management

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — 15 May 2018 — Chemical safety and security experts from Asia shared expertise and best practises during a seminar run by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), in Siem Reap,...15 May 2018Full story

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia Visits OPCW

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — 14 May 2018 — The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, H.E. Mr Nikola Dimitrov, met today with the Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical...14 May 2018Full story

OPCW Director-General Visits Vietnam

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — 14 May 2018 — The Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, met with senior Vietnamese officials during a visit to Hanoi from 6-10 May...14 May 2018Full story

OPCW Spokesperson’s Statement on Fact-Finding Mission Deployment to Douma

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — 4 May 2018 — The initial deployment of the Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) to gather facts in Douma, Syrian Arab Republic is complete. The Director-General thanked the FFM team members for their courage and...04 May 2018Full story

Displaying 1 to 10 of 1907
<< First < Previous 1-10 11-20 21-30 31-40 41-50 51-60 61-70 Next > Last >>