Seminar OPCW at 25: commemoration of the entry into force of the Chemical Weapons Convention (The Hague), 20.05.2022 [fr]
In the framework of the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union, France and the EU participated in a seminar of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) held on 20 May in The Hague.
The OPCW Technical Secretariat and its Member States commemorated the 25th anniversary of the entry into force of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), which was signed in 1993 in Paris. The event was structured around two panel discussions, one on the future of the Organisation and the other on countering the threat of chemical terrorism.
The Ambassador of France to the Netherlands Permanent Representative to the OPCW, Mr. Luis Vassy, participated in the first exchange of ideas alongside the following speakers:
• Ms Joanneke Balfoort, Director Security and Defence Policy at the European External Action Service
• Mr Andrés Terán Parral, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Ecuador to the OPCW
• Dr Una Jakob, Research Associate at the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt
As 2023 marks the completion of the verified destruction of declared chemical weapons stockpiles, panellists addressed the diversity of challenges for the Organisation, including the well-documented re-emergence of the use of these abject weapons.
Ambassador Luis Vassy called on to seize the opportunity of the 2023 CWC Review Conference to collectively establish an ambitious roadmap for the OPCW, adapted to both future threats and opportunities. He noted:
"We must actively combat the re-emergence of chemical weapons use while maintaining the OPCW’s unique expertise in the field of destruction. This twofold objective must guide all areas of work covered by the CWC: from the implementation of the verification regime to protection and assistance activities, and through international cooperation projects.”
He also stressed France’s determination to contribute actively to the work of the Open-ended Working Group preparing for the Review Conference, together with all the regional groups. This will be an opportunity to jointly define ambitious orientations for the OPCW, an Organisation whose achievements and relevance are beyond question.
France’s support for the work of the OPCW is part of a long-standing and constantly renewed commitment to the fight against chemical weapons. In 2022, France has decided to voluntarily contribute 2.2 million euros to support the Organisation’s activities in various fields. € 500,000 are allocated to the provision of assistance and protection measures to support Ukraine with regard to the threat of chemical weapons use, in the context of Russian military aggression. €700,000 cover international cooperation and training projects, which are also essential for the future of the Organisation.
Read more about the event here.