THE HAUGE, Netherlands –
The Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) Director, Rebecca Hersman, recently attended the inauguration of the new Centre for Chemistry and Technology (ChemTech Centre) of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hauge, Netherlands on May 12.
DTRA was one of many partners and donors recognized at the ceremony by keynote speaker Director-General of the OPCW, Fernando Arias.
“I want to thank the 57 donor countries and the other donors, including the European Union and the members of the Global Partnership against the spread of Weapons of Mass Destruction, for their strong political and financial support to make this Centre a reality,” said Arias.
Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins, the Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security talked about how the new facility upgrade will help strengthen storage and improve physical security while also further facilitate international cooperation and capacity building, a big part of DTRA’s mission.
“..The United States has already committed to partnering with the OPCW to hold several upcoming trainings and exercises at the ChemTech Center next year that will advance shared CWC and chemical security priorities with like-minded partners, said Jenkins.” Jenkins continued her remarks and called out DTRA’s contribution to the Center.
“We are pleased to announce that the U.S. government pledges to provide 1 million USD to support the ChemTech Center’s innovative capacity-building and training projects to further the OPCW’s mission to uphold international norms against chemical weapons use and to hold those who violate such norms accountable,” she said.
DTRA’s provided resources to the OPCW enhances the treaty’s capacity building operations. In 2013, DTRA and the OPCW worked with Syria to dispose of its chemical weapons stockpile in accordance to the Chemical Weapons Convention. DTRA’s history spans further back with the Chemical Weapons Destruction Program to 1992, where they worked together in assisting the states of the Former Soviet Union (FSU), namely Russia and Uzbekistan, to reduce the threat from chemical weapons (CW) by securing and eliminating CW stockpiles, chemical research capabilities, and production facilities, while also redirecting scientists to peaceful purposes.
Director Hersman met with General-Director Arias about collaborating in the future with the OPCW.
“I am honored to represent the Defense Threat Reduction Agency as the OPCW celebrates the opening of the new ChemTech center and to discuss future cooperation between our organizations,” said Hersman.
For more information on DTRA’s history with the OPCW and other programs and activities, visit www.dtra.mil