Czech Republic contributes CZK 300,000 to support assistance and protection training in Africa

The Government of the Czech Republic has contributed CZK 300,000 (approximately €12,000) to support assistance and protection programmes and projects under the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons’ (OPCW) Africa Programme.

The voluntary contribution was formalised during a ceremony on 23 November 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 stated: “The Czech Republic is a long-term supporter of the OPCW assistance and protection activities under Article X of the Convention and the Africa Programme in particular. It is with great delight that I announce today this voluntary contribution towards supporting the OPCW capacity building efforts in Africa. The projects financed from this programme will enhance the preparedness and response capacities of African states in the event of a chemical incident or its threat.”

The Director-General expressed: “I am grateful to the Government of the Czech Republic for its contribution which will help develop the capacity of OPCW African Member States in the field of assistance and protection. Enhancing national and regional mechanisms to successfully manage chemical incidents or attacks is one of the key capabilities that the OPCW is developing in cooperation with our stakeholders on the African continent.”

Director-General Arias encouraged Member States to support other special projects announced last year by the Technical Secretariat within the framework of the OPCW Programme for Africa.

Background

The contribution was made to the OPCW Trust Fund for Implementation of Article X of the Chemical Weapons Convention (assistance and protection against chemical weapons).

OPCW’s Programme to Strengthen Cooperation with Africa on the Chemical Weapons Convention – more commonly known as the Africa Programme – focuses on the needs of African Member States, including the promotion of peaceful and authorised uses of chemistry for inclusive and sustainable development and for a safe and secure Africa.

The Africa Programme continues to be funded mainly through the OPCW regular budget. Extrabudgetary resources are also used to further expand the Programme’s depth, reach, and impact. In this context, specific activities have been attracting in‑kind and financial support from the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Switzerland, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the United States of America, and the European Union. Moreover, in‑kind support has been provided by African Member States co‑organising activities under the Programme.

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.

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