The Government of Lithuania has contributed €10,000 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 formalized during a ceremony this week at OPCW Headquarters in The Hague.
“The work of the OPCW brought about the elimination of almost an entire category of weapons of mass destruction. However, there are many challenges and new threats that the international community is facing in relation to chemical weapons,” remarked H.E. Ambassador Vidmantas Purlys.
Director-General Arias appealed to all OPCW Member States in a position to make voluntary contributions, large or small, to do so. He further emphasized the important role the new ChemTech Centre will play in strengthening the OPCW’s ability to address chemical weapon threats and enhance capacity building activities.
“Unfortunately, over the last several years we have seen chemical weapons being used in Syria, the United Kingdom, Russia and other countries. There are threats of chemical terrorism and the use of sophisticated toxic chemicals as weapons. We need to make sure that the OPCW is well-equipped to meet the challenges of the future. We consider the Centre for Chemistry and Technology a flagship project in this regard.”H.E. Ambassador Vidmantas Purlys
The current OPCW Laboratory and Equipment Store are central to the effectiveness and integrity of the verification regime of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), 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 ageing infrastructure, space constraints, larger workloads, and new missions with new areas of work.
The new ChemTech Centre will help both meet today’s challenges and help the OPCW to keep pace with developments in science and technology and new chemical weapons threats.
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.