The UK is proud to have contributed over €1,000,000 to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons’ new Centre for Chemistry and Technology, opened in The Hague, Netherlands today. 64 nations contributed to the funding of the new centre.
UK Defence Minister Baroness Goldie attended the facility’s inauguration – it houses a new Laboratory, Technology and Training Hub, indoor training area, and fit for purpose instruction space which will support knowledge sharing, scientific and technical collaboration, and capacity building activities.
Defence Minister Baroness Goldie said:
Over 25 years ago, the Chemical Weapons Convention came into force, with the vow to eliminate an entire category of weapons of mass destruction, and much has been achieved in that time.
There is still work to be done, and that is why the UK remains committed to giving the OPCW our full support, including funding for this wonderful new centre which has opened today, which will help to deliver on the goal of a world free of chemical weapons.
The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is responsible for implementing the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), an international treaty that aims to eliminate chemical weapons – a category of weapons of mass destruction.
The OPCW was created to ensure that the convention’s obligations are met and to support all 193 member states to implement the CWC. The Convention took effect in 1997, and since then over 70,000 tonnes of chemical weapons stockpiles have been destroyed.
Nations that are part of the convention work together to:
Destroy all existing chemical weapons verified by the OPCW
Monitor facilities to prevent weapons re-emerging
Provide assistance to member states against chemical threats
Foster international cooperation to strengthen the implementation of the convention and promote the peaceful use of chemistry.
The opening of the new centre comes ahead of the OPCW’s 5th Review Conference taking place next week (15 – 19 May) in The Hague. The conference is an opportunity for member states to review the last five years and set the strategic direction for the next five years.
The OPCW constantly upgrades its capabilities to ensure the Convention can have as great an impact as possible, and the UK continues to contribute and invest to eliminate chemical weapons.
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