The Government of the Czech Republic is contributing CZK 1million (approximately €39,250) to the Trust Fund for Syria Missions at the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
The Fund supports the Organisation’s missions and contingency operations specifically related to the Syrian Arab Republic. The Czech Republic’s contribution aims to assist in full elimination of the Syrian Chemical Weapons Programme and clarification of facts related to the alleged use of chemical weapons, in accordance with the Chemical Weapons Convention and relevant decisions of the policy-making organs of the OPCW. The contribution will support the work of the Declaration Assessment Team (DAT), the Fact-Finding Mission (FFM), and the Investigation and Identification Team (IIT).
The voluntary contribution was formalised on 20 September by the Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic to the OPCW, H.E. Ms Kateřina Sequensová, and OPCW Director-General, H.E. Mr Fernando Arias, at the Organisation’s headquarters in The Hague.
Ambassador Sequensová remarked: “The Czech Republic fully supports the OPCW in its activities leading towards its core objective: a world free of chemical weapons and the threat of their use. We are, therefore, pleased to contribute to the activities of the OPCW in Syria in order to facilitate the independent investigation of the use of chemical weapons in Syria and to prevent their use in the future by ensuring their full destruction.”
Director-General Arias underlined: “I am grateful to the Czech Government for lending their further support to OPCW priorities. This contribution will help the OPCW to continue its work on the Syrian chemical weapons dossier and to ensure that the norms and principles of the Chemical Weapons Convention are upheld.”
The Czech Republic has been an active member of the OPCW since the Chemical Weapons Convention entered into force in 1997. The Czech Republic is a member of the Executive Council, the OPCW’s executive organ, which is charged with promoting the effective implementation of and compliance with the Chemical Weapons Convention as well as supervising the activities of the Organisation’s Technical Secretariat.
The Declaration Assessment Team was established in 2014 to engage the relevant Syrian authorities to resolve the identified gaps, inconsistencies and discrepancies in the Syrian declaration.
The OPCW Fact Finding Mission was set up in the same year in response to persistent allegations of chemical weapon attacks in Syria, with the task to establish facts surrounding allegations of the use of toxic chemicals, reportedly chlorine, for hostile purposes.
The Investigation and Identification Team (IIT) is mandated to identify the perpetrators of the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic. The IIT was launched following a decision adopted by the Conference of the States Parties to the CWC at its Fourth Special Session held in June 2018.
As the implementing body for the Chemical Weapons Convention, the OPCW, with its 193 Member States, oversees the global endeavour to permanently eliminate chemical weapons. Since the Convention’s entry into force in 1997, it is the most successful disarmament treaty eliminating an entire class of weapons of mass destruction.
Over 98% of all declared chemical weapon stockpiles have been destroyed under OPCW verification. For its extensive efforts in eliminating chemical weapons, the OPCW received the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize.