Morocco chairs the 98th session of the OPCW Executive Council
The 98th session of the Executive Council of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which will take place from 5 to 8 October in The Hague, is being chaired by Ambassador and Permanent Representative Abdelouahab Bellouki.
During this meeting, the Executive Council will discuss the most recent developments in the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention. The Council’s agenda includes, among other things, the elimination of chemical weapons, steps to prevent chemical weapons from resurfacing, and the OPCW’s program to increase cooperation with Africa.
This Executive Board meeting is a significant milestone in the Organization’s work since it considers various essential items, including the Organization’s program budget for the years 2022-2023, in preparation for adoption. From November 29 to December 3, 2021, at the Conference of States Parties.
According to a press release from the Kingdom’s embassy in The Hague, Morocco’s presidency of this important decision-making process, which will last from May 2021 to May 2022, “confirms the Kingdom’s continued commitment to the objectives of the said Convention and to sustained cooperation with the OPCW aimed at contributing to the advent of a world free of chemical weapons.”
Morocco’s close cooperation with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is exemplified by the hosting of many conferences and regional trainings targeted at strengthening the capacities of African country representatives. Morocco also contributed to the establishment of the Organization’s flagship project, the Center for Chemistry and Technology, which work began on September 23, 2021. It serves the Organization’s Member States, notably those in Africa, as a center of excellence in chemical analysis and capacity building.
Morocco’s chairmanship of the Executive Council also demonstrates the appreciation of Morocco’s constant dedication and active contribution to the work of the OPCW’s different institutions by its Member States, particularly African countries. As a result, Morocco presided over the Conference of States Parties, the OPCW’s supreme body, in 2017-2018.
The OPCW, with its 193 member countries, oversees the international community’s efforts to permanently eliminate chemical weapons as the implementing body of the Chemical Weapons Convention. Since the Convention’s entry into force in 1997, more than 98 percent of all reported chemical weapons stocks have been destroyed under OPCW verification, making it the most effective disarmament deal for eradicating an entire class of weapons of mass destruction. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2013 for its significant contributions to the elimination of chemical weapons.
In January 1993, Morocco signed the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which it ratified in December 1995. Since then, the Kingdom, which has never had chemical weapons, has met all of its commitments under the Convention while being a staunch advocate of the peaceful application of chemistry.