May 25, 2019

France Contributes €1.2M to Future OPCW Centre for Chemistry and Technology

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — 7 March 2019 — The Government of France has contributed €1.2 million to a special Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Trust Fund to support the project to upgrade the current OPCW Laboratory and Equipment Store. This project will result in the construction of a new facility, the OPCW Centre for Chemistry and Technology (“ChemTech Centre”).

The contribution was formalised today in a ceremony involving the exchange of letters between OPCW Director-General, H.E. Mr Fernando Arias, and France’s Permanent Representative to the OPCW, H.E. Ambassador Philippe Lalliot, at OPCW Headquarters in The Hague.

Ambassador Lalliot, on behalf of Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs of the French Republic, announced the decision to contribute €1.2 million to support the project to upgrade the OPCW Chemical Laboratory to a Centre for Chemistry and Technology and remarked: “OPCW is, in our view, a central actor in the chemical non-proliferation regime. This new Centre, including a very modern and secure laboratory, will enhance the system of prevention, identification and response of the OPCW and its Member States. It will provide Member States with an instrument to enhance international cooperation, including with a training platform to strengthen capacity-building for Member States. It will contribute to strengthening our collective security.”

France Contributes €1.2M to Future ChemTech Centre

The contribution was formalised today in a ceremony involving the exchange of letters between OPCW Director-General, H.E. Mr Fernando Arias, and France’s Permanent Representative to the OPCW, H.E. Ambassador Philippe Lalliot, at OPCW Headquarters in The Hague

Director-General Arias stated: “I want to express my deep gratitude to the Government of France for its generous support. This contribution brings us one step closer to realising this important project. The new Centre will strengthen the OPCW’s scientific and technological ability to comprehensively address the threat of chemical weapons and support capacity building in our Member States.”

Thirteen States Parties have contributed or pledged to contribute financially to the project and a considerable amount has already been raised to date. The Director-General has appealed to all OPCW States Parties in a position to make voluntary contributions to do so, emphasising that the new ChemTech Centre will be a resource for all States Parties and that “All contributions, regardless of size, are greatly appreciated”.

The project to build the ChemTech Centre is on-going and seeks to strengthen the OPCW’s capabilities to fully address new and emerging chemical weapons threats, as well as to support capacity building in OPCW Member States. The current OPCW Laboratory and Equipment Store are central to the effectiveness and integrity of the verification regime of the Chemical Weapons Convention, and they also contribute to the OPCW’s capacity-building and international cooperation activities. However, the current facility will soon no longer be fit-for-purpose due to its aging infrastructure, space constraints, larger workloads, and new missions with new areas of work.

A new facility is required to meet the demands of OPCW States Parties for enhanced verification tools, improved detection capabilities and response measures, as well as increased capacity-building activities. The ChemTech Centre will also help the OPCW to keep pace with developments in science and technology and new chemical weapons threats. The OPCW Technical Secretariat is developing a detailed project plan for the construction of the ChemTech Centre, and a Trust Fund for voluntary contributions has been established to secure the required resources for the project.

To date, the following States Parties have contributed or pledged to contribute to the project: Algeria, Belgium, Canada, Estonia, France, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, the Republic of Korea, Slovakia, Spain and UK.

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