Events

During this landmark year, events organised by OPCW Member States and other stakeholders help reinforce the indispensable nature of the Chemical Weapons Convention and the role of the OPCW as the international authority on chemical weapons.

These events held across the globe aim to share knowledge, inspire a deeper understanding of disarmament, non-proliferation, and peaceful use of chemistry as well as bring minds together to continue to make a difference in the world.

Confirmed Events

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Workshop on the Dual Use of Knowledge:
the Social Responsibility of Scientists and Professionals

June – October 2017

Córdoba, Argentina

In the framework of the “National Project on Education and Outreach” of the National Authority and the Ministry of Education of the Argentine Republic, and on the year of the 20th Anniversary of the OPCW, the National University of Córdoba will organize three workshops on the Dual Use of Knowledge: the Social Responsibility of Scientists and Professionals.

The first workshop will be held in La Pampa in June, the second in Córdoba on 25 August and the third in Santiago del Estero in October 2017.

These workshops are designed for students in the last years of their Bachelors in Chemistry, Biochemistry, Pharmacy and other related studies, as well as post-grad students, university professors and researchers involved in chemical sciences.

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The Chemical Weapons Convention In 2017:
What Are The Boundaries To Its Future Evolution?

16 November 2017

The Hague, the Netherlands

The Technical Secretariat of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (the “OPCW”) will host a conference for academics and legal practitioners, particularly those specialised in public international law and disarmament and non- proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, at the OPCW Headquarters in The Hague.

This one-day Conference will provide an overview of the extent to which the legal regime established by the Convention has evolved in the last 20 years and will endeavour to predict further developments the Convention may undergo in the future.

The Conference will focus on the extent to which the Convention can be interpreted to adequately adapt and respond to evolving socio-political realities and challenges in respect of chemical weapons.

This Conference will also offer the opportunity to discuss whether new rules are necessary to achieve the object and purpose of the Convention in the future, and if so, how they should come about.

Past Events

Commemorative Event to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Chemical Weapons Convention and the OPCW

17 October 2017

Johannesburg, South Africa

The South African Council for the Non-Proliferation of Chemical Weapons of Mass Destruction (NPC) and Chemical and Allied Industries’ Association (CAIA) held a commemorative event to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons on Tuesday 17 October 2017.

The event was held from 10:45-12:15 at the Country Club Johannesburg, 1 Napier Road, Auckland Park, Johannesburg.

National Symposium on CWC for the commemoration of 20th Anniversary of OPCW

17 October 2017

Dhaka, Bangladesh

The Bangladesh National Authority hosted a day long National Symposium in honour of the OPCW and CWC’s 20th Anniversary.

The Symposium included presentations from four foreign and national speakers, a poster competition on the Chemical Weapons Convention, an exhibition of Industry and Fire Brigade protective equipment, and a photo exhibition highlighting the activities of National Authorities in association with the OPCW.

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Prévenir le risque de détournement de produits et d’installations chimiques
– This Event will be held in french


17 October 2017

Paris, France, Maison de la Chimie

For the 20th year of OPCW, an awareness booklet about the Chemical Weapons Convention was published in French for French chemical industry companies.

This self-diagnostic booklet, named “Preventing the misappropriation of chemical products or facilities” is the result of a successful collaboration among professional federations of chemical and textile industries, the French Ministry of the Economy and its technical support, IRSN.

This collaboration continued with a French symposium in Paris on the 17th of October 2017 at La Maison de la Chimie.

During this event, through several presentations and a panel discussion, chemical companies, professional federations, French ministries and OPCW representatives shared and exchanged on this topic, in particular about this collaboration, the role of IRSN as a council for companies and the feedback of an operator.

The Hague
International
Open Day


24 September 2017

The Hague, The Netherlands

The OPCW opened its doors to hundreds of visitors in person and tens of thousands online annually during The Hague International Open Day. During this event, the public was introduced to the CWC and OPCW, why they matter, and the work of the OPCW through interactive demonstrations.

Photo Album

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Peaceful Uses of Chemistry
Workshop

19-21 September 2017

Malaysia

The workshop discussed ways to promote the ways of promoting the peaceful development and uses of chemistry.

Special Event for the 20 years of OPCW
UNIVERSITY OF THE AEGEAN

30 August 2017

Rhodes, Greece

The University of the Aegean (Department of Mediterranean Studies and Department of Environment/Waste Management Laboratory) held a special national event for 20 years of OPCW, during the 15th International Conference on Environmental Science and Technology.

The event included a special 20th anniversary message from OPCW Director-General Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, an address from HE Mr Geoffrey R. PYATT, Ambassador of USA in Greece; and a keynote address from Professor Ioannis Seimenis, Secretary-General of the National Authority for Chemical Weapons of the Hellenic Republic.

After the session there was a reception with a screening of videos and photographs of conferences, inspections, workshops, and other OPCW activities around the globe, over the 20 years of OPCW (1997-2017).

Event Details


Alumni Event “Chemists and careers”


4 April 2017

Bucharest, Romania

A meeting between former and actual students of Chemistry Faculty.

Topics include: the importance of chemistry in customs; introduction to chemical weapons and precursors; safety and security.

Speakers:

Mr. Bogdan Tudora, chemist, M. Sc. – graduated from Associate Programme 2016

Emilia Floroiu, adviser, Department for Export Controls – ANCEX

International Conference on Chemical Disarmament and Security: OPCW’s Contributions to Global Peace and Security


Deputy Director-General, Mr Hamid Ali Rao (front, centre) and participants at the International Conference on Chemical Disarmament and Security: The OPCW’s Contributions to Global Peace and Security, which was held in Doha, Qatar, from 10-11 April.

10-11 April 2017

Doha, Qatar

Representatives of States Parties, international and regional organisations, chemical industry, academia and civil society discussed OPCW’s contribution to chemical disarmament and security over the past 20 years, and current approaches to chemical security and identified trends and gaps.

The event was organised jointly by the OPCW and the Government of Qatar.

For more information and photographs of this event go to the Press Release below.

Press Release

Conference and Workshop
“The CWC yesterday, today … and tomorrow?”


19 April 2017

Prague, Czech Republic

Diplomats, public administration officials, universities and academia, security communities, industry representatives, and the media discussed different perspectives on CWC and OPCW’s work.

commemorative ceremony

26 April 2017

The Hague, The Netherlands

A Commemorative Ceremony on 26 April marked the 20th Anniversary of the Chemical Weapons Convention and the OPCW in the presence of His Majesty King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands.

Held at the Ridderzaal (Hall of the Knights) in The Hague, the ceremony was webcast and can be seen here.

The Ceremony served as an official kick-off for events and initiatives that will be held around the world from April through December.

Read OPCW Press Release: OPCW Marks its 20th Anniversary with Solemn Commemorative Ceremony

Read messages sent to the OPCW on the occasion of our 20th Anniversary commemoration.

Watch the 20th Anniversary Commemorative Ceremony Webcast

20th Anniversary Commemorative Ceremony in Paraguay


26 April 2017

Asunción, Paraguay

The National Authority of Paraguay for the Implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) held a ceremony to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the entry into force of the CWC and the founding of the OPCW.

This event gathered representatives of several public institutions that are responsible for implementing the CWC and consisted of presentations and discussions on the following topics:

– Current status of implementation of the CWC in Paraguay.
– Technical aspects of the transfers regime of the CWC.
– Chemical emergency response for police first responders.
– Chemical safety management.
– Civil protection against chemical warfare.

20th Anniversary Commemorative Ceremony in Argentina


Vice Chancellor, Ambassador Pedro Villagra Delgado

28 April 2017

Buenos Aires, Argentina

On 28 April 2017, Argentina held a ceremony to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the entry into force of the Chemical Weapons Convention, the founding of the OPCW and the creation of the Argentine National Authority.

During the ceremony, the Chairperson and Deputy Foreign Minister, Ambassador Pedro Villagra Delgado, stressed that the Argentine Republic is against any use of chemical weapons in any situation, under any circumstances and by any actor and expressed its firm conviction that all those responsible for its use should be tried.

The Argentine Republic, one of the first signatories of the Chemical Weapons Convention, joined the treaty in 1997. Since then, it has fully complied with all the obligations imposed by the Convention and promotes international cooperation for the peaceful use of chemistry.

Press Release – Spanish

Central Act for the 20th Anniversary of the Chemical Weapons Convention in Cuba


28 April 2017

Havana,Cuba

The Central Act for the 20th Anniversary of the Chemical Weapons Convention took place in Havana, Cuba, at the Cuban Association of the United Nations (ACNU) Headquarters on 28 April 2017.

During the event, presentations were made on the importance of the Convention as a reference within the international disarmament structure, the characteristics and evolution of Cuban national implementation, the achievements of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the decisive role to be played by international cooperation within its future priorities.

The solemn ceremony was organised by the Cuban National Authority for the implementation of the Convention and was chaired by José Fidel Santana Núñez, Vice-Minister of Science, Technology and Environment (CITMA), Fermín Quiñones Sánchez, Director General of ACNU and Alba Guillén Campos, representative of the Director General of the Office of Environmental Regulation and Nuclear Safety.

Press Release

Women in Chemistry Symposium


2 May 2017

The Hague and Rijswijk, The Netherlands

OPCW’s second annual Women in Chemistry Symposium highlighted the strength and depth of the contributions of women in chemistry, raised awareness for capacity development and promoted international solidarity and cooperation.

Event Photographs

20th Anniversary Commemorative Ceremony in Sudan


2 May 2017

Khartoum, Sudan

Sudan’s National Authority for the Prohibition of Chemical weapons (SNAPCW) held a Ceremony on the occasion of the 20th Anniversary of the entry into force of the CWC and the founding of the OPCW.

Press Release – PDF

Panel Discussion at the 16th regional meeting of national authorities: Eastern Europe
20 Years of the CWC Implementation – achievements and challenges


3 May 2017

Tbilisi, Georgia

A high-level panel discussed progress, achievements and challenges faced by the OPCW as the Organisation marks its 20th anniversary.

Topics included: regional and global security issues, the verification regime, the importance of partnerships with the chemical industry, and the peaceful uses of chemistry.

The event was organised by the OPCW and the National Authority of Georgia in the framework of the Sixteenth Regional Meeting of National Authorities of States Parties in Eastern Europe, taking place from from 3-5 May 2017.

COMPREHENSIVE CHEMICAL SAFETY & SECURITY BEST PRACTICES
SYMPOSIUM FOR PAKISTANI CHEMICAL INDUSTRY


9-10 May 2017

Islamabad, Pakistan

Pakistan National Authority on Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) & Disarmament Cell, Ministry of Foreign Affairs organised a two day-long Symposium on Comprehensive Chemical Safety & Security Best· Practices for Pakistani Chemical Industry held on 9-10 May, 2017 – Islamabad in Serena Hotel from 9-10 May, 2017.

The Symposium provided a forum for all our national stakeholders to discuss this important subject and explore means to further improve the ongoing efforts in the field of Chemical Safety and Security.

During the Symposium, presentations were delivered by eminent International Scholars and technical experts. Representative from Organisation for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) were also invited to enlighten national stakeholders regarding their ongoing efforts in the field.

Around 60 participants from Pakistani Industries and Government Departments/Ministries attended the event. Seven international and five Pakistani experts delivered lectures and conducted table top exercises in the event.

Press Release

9th International Conference of the Kenya Chemical Society
The Role of Chemistry in Inventing a Sustainable Future


9-12 May 2017

Nairobi, Kenya

The 9th KCS international conference brought together Chemical Scientists and stakeholders from academia, government, research institutes and the industry to discuss ‘The Role of Chemistry in Inventing a Sustainable Future’.

The conference comprised of plenary lectures, oral presentations, poster presentations, exhibitions, a field excursion and included a session dedicated to CWC and Chemical Safety and Security.

The event was supported by the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Pan Africa Chemistry Network and was held at the United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya.

Event Details

Panel Discussion at the 15th Regional Meeting of National Authorities: Asia
20 Years of the CWC Implementation – achievements and challenges


16 May 2017

Dubai, The United Arab Emirates

A high-level panel discussed progress, achievements and challenges faced by the OPCW as the Organisation marks its 20th anniversary.

Topics included: regional and global security issues, the verification regime, the importance of partnerships with the chemical industry, and the peaceful uses of chemistry.

The event was organised by the OPCW and the National Authority of the United Arab Emirates in the framework of the Fifteenth Regional Meeting of National Authorities of States Parties in Asia, and took place from 16-18 May 2017.

SICC 2017
1st Scientific International Conference on CBRNE


23 May 2017

Rome, Italy

A side event during the Scientific International Conference on CBRNe (SICC) titled Twenty Years after the Entry into Force of the Chemical Weapons Convention: Looking Back and Looking Forward, assessed the results of OPCW’s work.

Event Details

20th
1st International Chemical Weapons Demilitarisation Conference


25-26 May 2017

London, United Kingdom

The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) hosted the 20th annual International Chemical Weapons Demilitarisation Conference. The two day event on 25 to 26 May 2017 was held at the Park Plaza Hotel Victoria London with an informal networking session at the hotel on the eve of the conference.

The International Chemical Weapons Demilitarisation (CWD) conference brought together the world’s largest gathering of professionals involved in the demilitarisation of chemical weapons. It provided the opportunity to showcase the global progress in chemical weapon destruction and enabled delegates to develop their knowledge and understanding with a common goal of a safer, cleaner world. There was representation from policy and decision makers across international organisations, UK government, the armed forces, industry, academia and research and development establishments worldwide.

The conference supports the global effort to eliminate chemical weapons and fosters co-operation through the exchange of information and ideas relating to the safe disposal.

Event Details

Finland Commemorates OPCW 20th Anniversary and held the 13th Annual NATO Conference on Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), Arms Control, Disarmament and Non-Proliferation


28-30 May

Finland

The Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü engaged in a variety of activities with officials, academics, researchers, and university students to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the OPCW. The Director-General toured the Finnish Institute for Verification of the Chemical Weapons Convention (VERIFIN) with the Chancellor of the University, Professor Thomas Wilhelmsson and the Institute’s Director, Professor Paula Vanninen. At the University of Helsinki, he engaged with researchers and students and spoke about, “Uncovering the Use of Chemical Weapons: The Role of Science and the OPCW Designated Labs” while noting the 20th Anniversary and describing two decades of the OPCW providing oversight for the implementation of the CWC. Finland’s Under-Secretary of State, Mrs Anne Sipiläinen, hosted a lunch in cooperation with the Finnish Institute of International Affairs where the Director-General shared his views about countering chemical threats including the role of non-State actors.

Ambassador Üzümcü also delivered a keynote address at the 13th Annual NATO Conference on Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), Arms Control, Disarmament and Non-Proliferation.

At the Conference, Ambassador Üzümcü described the fundamental role of the CWC: “The Convention was the result of tragedy wrought by chemical weapons, a loathing for these indiscriminate agents of destruction, and one hundred years of diplomacy. It has become one of the world’s vanguards against weapons of mass destruction, and represents today, an essential component of the international legal and security system.”

Press Release

Special event on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of OPCW during Eurachem week

31 May

Nicosia, Cyprus

Delegates and scientists from across the EU gathered to enhance their knowledge of the OPCW during Cyprus’s 2017 Eurachem Week (29th May-3rd June).

The event included an address by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus and the Mayor of Nicosia, a keynote speech by the Director of the Verification Division of the Organisation for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, Mr Philippe Denier, a screening of OPCW’s Commemorative 20th Anniversary video, a short cultural event, and a reception.

The event was hosted by the Mayor of Nicosia, Cyprus at the Nicosia Town Hall and was organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus and the Pancyprian Union of Chemists (Division of Quality Assurance).

See the Press Release below for the address by the Permanent Secretary of the MFA, Ambassador Alexandros Zenon, at the event.

Press Release

20th Anniversary of entry into force of the Convention


31 May

Zagreb, Croatia

The Croatian National Authority for the Implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention held a ceremonial meeting on 31 May 2017 at the Faculty of Science of the University of Zagreb to mark the 20th anniversary of the entry into force of the CWC and the founding of the OPCW.

The meeting gathered key stakeholders from government, industry and academia, with the participation of Ambassador Hamid Ali Rao, Deputy Director General of the OPCW, as the guest of honour.

The Republic of Croatia was among the first states to sign the CWC, and founded the National Authority immediately after its entry-into-force in 1997. It hosted the first international assistance delivery exercise ASSISTEX in 2002, as well as the meeting of National Authorities of the Eastern European Group in 2013. Croatia was elected to a two-year membership of the OPCW Executive Council for the period May 2011 to May 2013 and again for the period May 2014 to May 2016. Two Croatian industries participate in the OPCW Associate Programme.

Press Release

Panel Discussion at the 18th Regional Meeting of National Authorities: Latin American and Caribbean regions
20 Years of the CWC Implementation – achievements and challenges


13 June 2017

Montego Bay, Jamaica

A high-level panel discussed progress, achievements and challenges faced by the OPCW as the Organisation marks its 20th anniversary.

Topics included: regional and global security issues, verification regime and importance of partnership with the chemical industry, and the peaceful uses of chemistry.

The panel discussion occured on the first day of the Eighteenth Regional Meeting of National Authorities of States Parties in Latin American and Caribbean regions, taking place from 13-15 June 2017.

Press Release

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The Chemical Weapons Convention 1997-2017
Progress, Challenges, and Reinforcing the Global Norm against Chemical Weapons

20 June 2017

Washington DC, USA

The US State Department held a high-level forum on the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) 1997-2017: Progress, Challenges and Reinforcing the Global Norm Against Chemical Weapons as the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) marks its 20th anniversary.

Opening remarks were given by US National Security Adviser,Mr Herbert Raymond McMaster, with introduction by Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control, Verification and Compliance, Anita Friedt, and a Keynote address by Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, Director General of the OPCW.

Panel Discussions covered: CWC Negotitation & Ratification, Current Issues and Future Challenges.

Closing remarks were given by Andrea Hall, ‎NSC Senior Director for WMD and Counter-proliferation.

UN High Representative’s Remarks

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The Chemical Weapons Convention
and Chemical Safety and Security Management

17-21 July 2017

Mexico, City

To mark the 20th anniversary of the CWC entry into force, Mexico’s National Authority hosted two Seminars on “The Chemical Weapons Convention and Chemical Safety and Security Management for Member States of the OPCW in the GRULAC Region” and “The Chemical Weapons Convention and Chemical Safety and Security Management for the National Chemical Industry” at the “Escuela Superior de Guerra” auditorium. The event, which was held with help from the Ministry of Defence, took place from July 17-21 in Mexico, City.

The event gathered several representatives from GRULAC States Parties to share experiences and best practices on Chemical Safety and Security Management; the forum was used to promote awareness and strengthen regional capabilities.

The main issues that were discussed around Chemical Safety and Security Management Seminar included:

•Strategies
•The role of the Stakeholders
•Safety and Security Management at National Level
•Chemical Security Threats, Vulnerability, Threat Assessment and Mitigation Approaches

Invitation

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Panel Discussion at the 15th Regional Meeting of National Authorities: Africa
20 Years of the CWC Implementation – achievements and challenges

July 2017

Banjul, Gambia

A high-level panel discussed progress, achievements and challenges faced by the OPCW as the Organisation marks its 20th anniversary.

Topics included: regional and global security issues, the verification regime and importance of partnership with the chemical industry, and the peaceful uses of chemistry.

The panel discussion occurred on the first day of the Fifteenth Regional Meeting of National Authorities of States Parties in Africa, which took place in July 2017.

Press Release

The Chemical Weapons Convention:
the Power of a Universal Ideal


25 July 2017

Melbourne, Australia

This year marks the 20th Anniversary of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and the founding of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

The chemical weapons attack in Syria in August 2013 thrust the OPCW into the international spotlight, and in December that year, the organisation was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for its extensive work to eliminate chemical weapons.

Since its inception, the Chemical Weapons Convention has been recognised as an unprecedented international disarmament treaty designed to realise the eradication of an entire category of weapons. Its success is an example of the crucial necessity of international cooperation in advancing global peace and security objectives; and the power of a universal ideal in setting global priorities.

AIIA Victoria was honoured to welcome His Excellency Mr Ahmet Üzümcü to hear at first hand how these factors have enabled the OPCW’s progress thus far, and the challenges it faces in the future to definitively rid the world of chemical weapons.

Event Details

Eighth Annual TMC Asser Institute SUMMER PROGRAMME:
DISARMAMENT AND NON-PROLIFERATION OF WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION IN A CHANGING WORLD


4-8 September 2017

The Hague, The Netherlands

OPCW Director-General is the keynote speaker to open the Summer Programme and will reflect on the past 20 years of achievements and challenges in ensuring the full and effective implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention and the path ahead.

Launched in 2010, this summer programme has been jointly developed by the OPCW and the TMC Asser Institute, and educates early to mid-career professionals from across all sectors about international treaties on weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), current issues, and practical approaches.

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Director-General addresses a special plenary session
of the Conference on Disarmament

5 September 2017

Geneva, Switzerland

This year the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) marks the 20th Anniversary of the entry into force of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).

Negotiated at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, the CWC has warranted remarkable advances in disarmament and non-proliferation, serving as an effective bulwark against chemical weapons.

To further underscore the achievements of the Convention to date and to reflect on this important milestone, the OPCW’s Director-General, Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü will address a special plenary session of the Conference on Disarmament.