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, in Belgium, Halabja in Iraq, and Sardasht in Iran. Unfortunately, the names of new locations like Ghouta, Khan Shaykhun and Douma 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. Over twenty years ago, on 29 April 1997, the Convention became legally binding. 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. With 193 countries on board, currently, it is close to universal coverage of the planet – 98 per cent of the world’s population lives under the protection of the Convention and 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 97 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 recent incidents in 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. This year, a new team has started working on identifying the perpetrators of the use of chemical weapons in Syria. This marks a key step toward ensuring accountability for those who would use such weapons.
Come visit the OPCW on International Open Day!
Plan Your Visit:
- The rolling programme occurs between 11:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Visit at any time during those hours.
- Didn’t register? Don’t worry! Just show your ID and undergo a security check.
- We have a self-guided tour so you can enjoy all points of the programme at your leisure.
- Step into the shoes of an OPCW inspector: try on the gear inspectors use during field missions and learn how to identify chemicals through fun, hands-on activities.
- Learn about the history of chemical warfare and the effects of chemical weapons on humans during presentations (40 mins long including time for questions). Find out what exactly the OPCW does to make the world a safer place.
- Spark your children’s imagination in our colouring session, 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.
Drinks and snacks available for purchase.
Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)
Johan de Wittlaan 32
2517 JR Den Haag