Foreign Minister Gabriel issued the following statement today (26 April) to mark the 20th anniversary of the The Hague-based Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW):
I warmly congratulate the OPCW on its 20th anniversary. As the guardian of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), which almost all nations have joined, it has made the world a safer place through its activities during the last 20 years. The vast majority of chemical weapons in the world have already been destroyed under OPCW supervision. That is a great success, and the organisation has rightfully been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for this accomplishment.
At the same time, the cruel use of chemical weapons against the civilian population in Syria shows that the remaining chemical weapons can still inflict great suffering. We continue to fully support the OPCW and its Director-General Ahmet Üzümcü in their efforts to investigate the most recent chemical weapons attacks in Syria, as they work toward a world free of chemical weapons.
I call on the few countries that have not yet signed the Chemical Weapons Convention to do so as soon as possible. This way, the Convention can become universally applicable, and the remaining chemical weapons will soon be found only in history books.