The Tenth Annual Meeting of Chemical Industry Representatives Commences
Doha, October 24 / Today marks the commencement of the tenth annual meeting for representatives of the chemical industries and national entities of the States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention. This event is organized by the National Committee for Arms Control, in collaboration with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), through the Regional Doha Training Center for Agreements related to Weapons of Mass Destruction. The meeting is scheduled to run until October 26 of this year.
In this context, Brigadier Dr. Abdulaziz Salemin Al-Jabri, the President of the National Committee for Arms Control, stated, “This meeting, which is one of the fruits of the close cooperation between the OPCW and the State of Qatar in implementing the Chemical Weapons Convention, provides a unique global forum for the States Parties. It brings together two crucial stakeholders responsible for the optimal implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention: the representatives of the national authorities and the representatives of the chemical industry sector. The aim is to facilitate direct interaction and strengthen cooperation between them to ensure the optimal implementation of Article VI of the Convention, especially concerning the verification system.”
He added in his speech during the meeting that since Qatar joined the Chemical Weapons Convention in 1997, it has spared no effort in implementing the Convention by supporting the OPCW’s activities through its voluntary contributions and its role in the organization’s Executive Council, in addition to its constant pursuit of the universality of the Convention, which contributes to enhancing international peace and security.
The President of the National Committee for Arms Control pointed out that the Regional Doha Center has been contributing since 2012 to building the capacities of the States Parties and the state’s institutions to prevent the use of chemical weapons, address chemical terrorism threats, encourage peaceful uses of chemical materials, and host numerous national and international events in the fields of awareness, disarmament, and non-proliferation.
He explained that the National Committee for Arms Control covers areas of training for Articles VI, VII, X, and XI of the Convention, develops international cooperation and knowledge exchange in the chemical field for non-prohibited purposes under the Convention, and promotes economic and technological development with all States Parties as a fundamental condition for achieving the Convention’s goals. Qatar has organized 36 programs in cooperation with the organization’s Technical Secretariat, with the participation of more than 89 countries and international organizations. These programs have been attended by 850 trainees from the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, Arab countries, and representatives from the five continents, in addition to training hundreds of the state’s personnel.
To fulfill the requirements of Article VI of the Convention, Qatar hosts this annual meeting starting from 2014, with a total participation of 111 countries and international organizations, and the participation of more than 431 trainees from the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, Arab countries, and States Parties to the Convention. This meeting also includes 50 trainees representing 25 States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention, as well as experts from the OPCW and the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry.
On the other hand, His Excellency Mr. Fernando Arias, the Director-General of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), began his speech by expressing deep appreciation for Qatar’s hosting of this annual meeting. He pointed out that the world is becoming more dangerous due to the increasing regional tensions, the crumbling of alliances, and the rise in illicit proliferation activities of chemical uses in recent times.
He highlighted the growing concerns about the possession of chemical weapons in the face of scientific and technological advancements in this field. He emphasized the necessity of understanding these challenges and developments through the optimal application of the Chemical Weapons Convention, which is one of the most successful agreements. Its goal lies in implementing a rigorous verification system that all parties adhere to.
The Director-General of the OPCW pointed out that this year is significant for the organization, as it has made significant progress and marks the thirtieth anniversary of its establishment. He also mentioned the fifth conference of the organization held in June of the previous year, during which the last chemical weapon was destroyed.
He confirmed the organization’s determination to intensify its efforts in the upcoming period, increase international cooperation among the States Parties in the use of chemical materials, strengthen the relationship between regulatory authorities and industrial chemical users, and enforce a robust monitoring system.