The Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development of France, H.E. Mr Jean-Marc Ayrault, reaffirmed their resolve to work together to achieve a world free of chemical weapons during their recent discussions at OPCW Headquarters in The Hague.
The Director-General praised France’s deep and abiding commitment to strengthening the verification capacity of the OPCW. Ambassador Üzümcü further expressed his thanks to Mr Ayrault for France’s contributions to the effort to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons programme and for France’s help in facilitating part of the recent international operation to remove, transport and verifiably destroy Libya’s remaining chemical weapons.
“Lasting peace and security can only be attained through the united efforts of innovative minds and willing hands. Our dialogue today was infused with this spirit of cooperation and it was focused on our combined ambition to achieve a world permanently free of chemical weapons. I am grateful for France’s tireless efforts to support the international norm against the use of chemical weapons,” Ambassador Üzümcü stated.
Mr Ayrault expressed, “France fully supports the work of the OPCW to rid the world of chemical weapons. The OPCW is the most relevant disarmament instrument in this field and helps securing our world. The recent decision adopted by its Executive Council to condemn the use of chemical weapons in Syria by the Government of Syria and Daesh, as proved by the OPCW-UN JIM’s reports, and to impose stringent verification measures to selected sites and facilities of concern in Syria is the most accurate example of the importance of the OPCW mission. We will keep working together in order to strengthen its role and make sure that such inhumane weapons cannot be used in the future”.
Other topics discussed during the meeting included the OPCW’s increasing focus on countering the use of chemical weapons by non-State actors and a range of issues pertaining to the ongoing activities and future priorities of the Organisation.