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. This year, the OPCW commemorates its 20th Anniversary. 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 usually been seared in human memory with names of tragic places from the last century such as Ieper, Halabja, Iraq, and Sardasht, Iran. To this list of suffering and death, the names of new locations like Ghouta and Khan Shaykhun, Syria, will be added to bear witness to the pain inflicted in this century.
To reverse this dangerous trend and to eliminate stockpiles of chemical weapons around the world, the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) was negotiated. 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 its now 192 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 95 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 and Syria, chemical terrorism is now a disturbing reality, claiming the lives of many 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.
- The rolling programme occurs between 11:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
- Try on the gear used by OPCW inspectors during field missions.
- During presentations offered in both English and Dutch, learn about the history of chemical warfare and the effects of chemical weapons on humans. Find out what exactly the OPCW does to make the world a safer place without chemical weapons.
- Activate your children’s imagination, by participating in a drawing competition about the use of science for peace and 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 in the Delegates Lounge (main floor)
Organisatie voor het Verbod op Chemische Wapens (OPCW)
Johan de Wittlaan 32
2517 JR Den Haag