The Hague, Friday 20th May 2022: the Embassy of Botswana in Brussels participated in the Seminar: “Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) at 25”, in the Hague.
The event commemorated the 25th anniversary of the OPCW and the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). Focus was on two integral aspects:
i) “Chemical Disarmament and the future of the OPCW”
ii) “Countering Chemical Terrorism: Assessing the Threat”.
Challenges such as: the emergence of chemical weapon; the need to exploit benefits derived from science, technology and academia; the impact of climate change; misinformation and disinformation as well as progressively working towards universality of the CWC were discussed.
For Botswana, opportunities are available in multi-agency and regional cooperation to combat threats such as the use of chemical weapons for terrorism activities and warfare. Furthermore, capacity building and training programmes are available from the OPCW and other partners.
Critical knowledge was exchanged on the importance of legislation and creation of key structures such as Reference Laboratories. Implementation of these can expedite efforts to ensure that chemical weapons disarmament, peace and security are universal.
The Seminar commended the achievements made since 1997 and reaffirmed commitment to promoting chemical knowledge and advancing the peaceful uses of chemistry.