THE HAGUE, Netherlands–26 November 2020–The Government of the United States of America has awarded a $7,000,000 grant to a special Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Trust Fund to support the project of the construction of a new facility, the OPCW Centre for Chemistry and Technology (“ChemTech Centre”).
The grant was formalised during a ceremony between the Permanent Representative of the United States to the OPCW, H.E. Ambassador Joseph Manso, and OPCW Director-General, H.E. Mr Fernando Arias, which was held yesterday at OPCW Headquarters in The Hague.
Ambassador Manso stated: “The United States is proud to finalise its contribution to the ChemTech Centre today. 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 programmes, the Centre will also enhance the Organisation’s capacity building programmes. Combined, these will ensure the Organisation remains fit-for-purpose for years to come.”
While expressing his gratitude, Director-General Arias observed: “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.”
Director-General Arias appealed to all OPCW Member States in a position to make voluntary contributions to do so. He further emphasised the important role the new ChemTech Centre will play in strengthening the OPCW’s ability to address chemical weapon threats and enhance International Cooperation and Assistance capacity building activities. He highlighted that “all contributions, regardless of size, are greatly appreciated”.
So far, 45 countries, the European Union, and three other donors have contributed or pledged to contribute financially to the ChemTech Centre project, and a considerable amount has been raised to date.