Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)

During International Open Day, visit the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) – winner of the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize for its extensive efforts to rid the world of chemical weapons. Come learn about chemical weapons, why we need to work together to completely eliminate them, and how you can help.

Sarin, VX, sulfur mustard gas, and chlorine may sound familiar as the materials used in chemical weapons. Attacks using chemical weapons have been seared in human memory along with the names of tragic places from the last century such as Ieper, Halabja, Iraq, and Sardasht, Iran. Unfortunately, the names of new locations like Ghouta and Khan Shaykhun in Syria, also bear witness to the pain inflicted in this century.

The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) was negotiated to reverse this dangerous trend and to eliminate stockpiles of chemical weapons around the world. More than twenty years ago, on 29 April 1997, the Convention became legally binding on the initial 65 countries that had obligated themselves to it. At that same moment, the OPCW was born as the entity responsible for overseeing the full implementation of the Convention, which is often considered the most successful disarmament treaty in history. The Chemical Weapons Convention with 193 countries on board is close to universal coverage of the planet – only four countries have yet to join.

The OPCW’s aim is to eradicate chemical weapons permanently by destroying existing stockpiles and by preventing the re-emergence of such weapons. More than 96 per cent of the chemical weapons declared to the OPCW have so far been verifiably destroyed.

The OPCW conducts regular worldwide inspections of chemical industrial facilities to monitor the manufacture of chemicals that could be used in the production of prohibited weapons. Working with the scientific community, the OPCW also promotes the peaceful uses of chemistry.

The chemical disarmament regime is facing new challenges. As evidenced by reports from Iraq, Syria, Malaysia, and the United Kingdom, the use of chemical weapons is a disturbing reality that continues to claim the lives of innocent victims. The OPCW is increasingly involved in countering this growing threat.

Come visit us on International Open Day! We look forward to welcoming you.

Plan Your Visit:

  • The rolling programme occurs between 11:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Visit at any time during those hours.
  • We have a self-guided tour so you can enjoy all points of the programme at your leisure.
  • Try on the gear OPCW inspectors use during field missions.
  • Learn about the history of chemical warfare and the effects of chemical weapons on humans during presentations offered in both English and Dutch (40 mins long including time for questions),. Find out what exactly the OPCW does to make the world a safer place without chemical weapons.
  • Spark your children’s imagination in our colouring room where they can learn about the use of science for peace and the welfare of humankind.
  • Find out how to become an OPCW intern and what interns do at the OPCW.
  • Take a photo with the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize awarded to the OPCW and other popular spots to post on social media.
  • Share your thoughts on our Billboard of Ideas.

Drinks and snacks available for purchase.

Address

Organisatie voor het Verbod op Chemische Wapens (OPCW)
Johan de Wittlaan 32
2517 JR Den Haag
www.opcw.org

Security

Most organisations have strict security. Because of this, we have added a list of the DO’s and DON’Ts for you. As a visitor, you’ll be required to follow these. You will receive your security passes a week beforehand via e-mail. We ask you to please bring it with you. The security of the organisations can ask you to show your passes. Although the chance is there that registration will be enough and you will not be asked to show your pass. At all times you are required to bring a legal personal ID, like a passport of a ID-Card. Bus-, library, etc. cards are not valid identification. Security checks take time, so please keep this in mind when visiting. We ask for your patience for any eventual waiting times.

Do’s

  • Bring a valid ID like a passport or ID card
  • Bring a your admission ticket (print or online version)
  • Keep in mind that security checks can take some time.
  • Listen and comply with security.

Don’ts

  • Do not bring large bags.
  • Do not bring prams unless absolutely necessary.
  • Do not bring electronic devices.
  • Photos and video recordings aren’t always permitted.