The U.S. government awarded $7 million to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to support the construction of the new OPCW Centre for Chemistry and Technology.
The ChemTech Centre seeks to strengthen the OPCW’s capabilities to fully address new and emerging chemical weapons threats and support capacity building in OPCW Member States. The grant was formalized during a ceremony attended by the Representative of the United States to the OPCW, Ambassador Joseph Manso, and OPCW Director-General at OPCW Headquarters in The Hague.
“The United States is proud to finalize its contribution to the ChemTech Centre today,” Manso said. “The Centre will strengthen the Organisation’s ability to address new and evolving threats, and to continue its professional and impartial work to investigate allegations of chemical weapons use in Syria and around the world. Through its expanded facilities and training programs, the Centre will also enhance the Organisation’s capacity building programs. Combined, these will ensure the Organisation remains fit-for-purpose for years to come.”
Arias emphasized the important role the new ChemTech Centre will play in strengthening the OPCW’s ability to address chemical weapon threats. So far, 45 countries, the European Union, and three other donors have contributed or pledged to contribute financially to the ChemTech Centre project.
“The OPCW greatly appreciates the United States’ generous support that will allow us to advance towards the completion of this keystone project that will keep the Organisation at the cutting-edge of science and technology to achieve and maintain a world free of the scourge of chemical weapons,” Arias said.
The OPCW, with its 193 Member States, oversees the global effort to permanently eliminate chemical weapons. To date, over 98 percent of all declared chemical weapon stockpiles have been destroyed under OPCW verification.