Declaration of MFA Slovakia marking the 20th anniversary of the Chemical Weapons Convention and the foundation of the OPCW

Declaration of MFA Slovakia marking the 20th anniversary of the Chemical Weapons Convention and the foundation of the OPCW

28.4.2017 | Aktivity ministerstva | Vyhlásenia a stanoviská ministerstva

On April 29 we - along with the international community - mark the 20th anniversary of the entry into force of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction as well as the founding of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) based in The Hague, Netherlands. The Chemical Weapons Convention has become a breakthrough by bidning states not to develop, produce, acquire, accumulate, stockpile or use chemical weapons, and not to provide them to anyone directly or indirectly. 

The Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic welcomes the significant progress achieved over the past two decades in the implementation and universalization of the Chemical Weapons Convention, as testified by awarding the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize to the OPCW. As of today, 192 countries have become parties to the Convention, and thus automatically members of the OPCW. This includes virtually almost all UN member states. Tomorrow's anniversary is therefore also a good opportunity to reiterate and support calls encouraging the remaining countries outside the Chemical Weapons Convention to accede to the Convention in the near future.

Despite significant achievements of the OPCW and its member states in the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention, number of important and ongoing challenges facing the international community remain. First among them, the key issue of destroying chemical weapons in Syria, as well as implementing OPCW decisions and promoting the work and fulfilling the mandate of the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) in this regard. 

From the outset, the Slovak Republic has been a strong and active supporter of the Chemical Weapons Convention as well as the OPCW mandate and activities. Slovakia was among the first to sign the Convention on January 14, 1993, just one day after the opening ceremony for signature in Paris. Subsequently, it ratified the Convention on October 17, 1995 and deposited the instruments of ratification with the Depositary of the Convention, the Secretary-General of the United Nations on October 27, 1995. The continued active involvement and engagement of Slovakia in this area has been furthermore underlined by its current two-year membership of the Executive Council of the OPCW - an executive body consisting of 41 countries and fulfilling an important role in the overall functioning of this organization. In addition, Slovakia has been recently elected a Vice-chair of the Executive Council of the OPCW for the Eastern European Group. It will perform this function for one year starting in May 2017.

Together with other EU member states, the Slovak Republic has been actively contributing towards achieving OPCW´s main goal - the destruction of all chemical weapons stockpiles globally by 2025 and the establishment of effective mechanisms for preventing re-development and production of chemical weapons. Witnessing the uncontrolled dissemination of information on how to produce chemical weapons available on the internet, the main task of OPCW members has therefore become the prevention of their production and use by the so-called non-state actors, especially terrorist organizations and organized crime groups. Achieving this goal, inter alia, envisages increased cooperation with academia and manufacturing sector.